Julia Copeland, a celebrity stylist and wholesaler, didn’t see herself opening a boutique in 2020. Then came the pandemic. “When COVID hit, obviously red carpets and events just weren’t really happening,” Julia explains. “And then my mom got terminally ill, and was given three months to live.”
With COVID driving down rent prices in the East Village, Julia saw the business plan she had dreamed becoming a possibility. “I’ve always worked in fashion, it was a lifelong passion of mine. COVID actually provided me with a little opportunity to make it happen. Weirdly enough.” She got the keys to her storefront, at 315 East 9th Street, the day before her mother passed, and the store, Here Nor There, is dedicated to her memory.
Through assisting the likes of Mimi Cuttrell (Gigi Hadid’s stylist) and Joseph Cassell (stylist for Miss Americana herself, Taylor Swift), Julia learned how to identify the trends of the moment, and build relationships with brands. Her boutique’s mission is to bring a mixture of sustainable fashion pieces and reworked vintage to the East Village. “I just want some fun clothes, you know, cool prints, small designers, and then a mix of vintage.”
Julia’s work as a wholesaler taught her the importance of sustainable fashion and “what not to do.” One of the brands she had worked with would shred damaged or unsold stock, a common practice in the industry. “There’s shredders in every country where they just shred the material; it was a complete waste,” Julia explains. She aims to make Here nor There completely sustainable, bags and all, by the end of 2021.
In true 2021 fashion, Here nor There has garnered an audience of almost 5,000 on TikTok since opening in October. Among the crowd favorites are the $15 Le Manso-inspired rings, which sold out after the TikTok featuring them received over 90,000 views. Others show dreamy corsets made of vintage tapestries, 90s-inspired denim, and the in-house pug, Percy. Julia says that the account has paid off in increasing foot traffic and visitors. “It’s like, everyone that comes in found us on TikTok,” she says, laughing. “I would say most of my Instagram followers are from TikTok. I’m 30, I don’t understand it. But I try.”
Looking forward to the next year of Here nor There, Julia is excited to grow the store as both a boutique, and a brand. “I just did a collaboration with a small brand from London. So I have a little set coming out that’s exclusive to my store. And I’m now working with a local pattern maker in New York. And I’m going to be producing my own collection for the store.”
Though creating her own collection will be a learning curve, Julia is ready to embrace the challenge. “I hope by next year, I’m able to fully produce all my own stuff. You know, it’s expensive to get patterns and all that made, and learn fits, and even keep up with the demand. But that’s how I see myself next year.”