City Pulse

By Beauty News Staff


To me there’s a certain thrill of stuffing away my sweaters and pulling my warm-weather garb out of those vacuum packed sacks from underneath my bed. Sometimes I forget about a favorite skirt or now have killer new heels to rock with last years shorts. But then again there are the old stand-bys, the clothes that I see every year that get me through those stifling city summers. My goal this summer is take the old and make it new by accessorizing. Handbags, belts and jewelry are pretty much the bain of all fashionistas’ existence; they are what make our style unique and what complete any fabulous outfit. This is why Clarabella is my new BFF. This lovely little space is an accessories haven and my answer to spicing up absolutely any old thing in the closet (translation: my drabby black shift is looking ultra cute with a wide belt, crystal drop earrings and metallic wedges).

I’m giddy over this boutique. There is something so delightful about a small space where you can find that little gem that suits your fancy. Erin Whelan, who just opened Clarabella (named after the owner’s great grandma-ma) in April, has put her heart into this Lower East Side nook and filled it to the brim with goodies galore that can make a gal weak in the knees.


The store is warm and simplistic with jewelry hanging in antique curios and nestled in bowls of rice throughout the space. Adorned on the walls are works of art from local and national artists, but it’s those trinkets that should be adorning you, my dears. The jewelry line by By Boe is her best selling line and is my absolute favorite, but there are so many others to choose from as jewelry appears to be the specialty (Clarabella is even hosting jewelry making classes!). The handbag selection is lovely with beautiful leather bags from Carla Beeby (a US exclusive), overnight totes from Andrea Brueckner and even vegan products by Crystalyn Kae that could fool any tree-hugger. The store offers a modest selection of wallets, belts and surprisingly, feminine leather bracelets.


Now on to the shoes (oh, the shoes)! Marianna is the stores most affordable line (you can snag an adorable pair for less than a Benjamin), along with designers Marcello Toshi, Melanie Dizon and Tashkent by Cheyenne. It’s clear that Erin truly celebrates the artist by the array of beautiful and unique products that she carefully selects for her store.

Oh, and one more important thing to note: Clarabella is having their first trunk show on June 13th and will feature the new lines of jewelry designers, Judith Haas and Rebecka Froberg. Being the gracious hostess that she is, Erin will be serving wine and snacks. What a lovely time to check out the store. See you there – ciao, bellas!

Clarabella is located at 279 E. Houston Street and is open Tuesday-Sunday. Check out Erin’s blog, to find out up to date lines and events.

Originally published June 2007
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