By Sybille C. Denninger


Good evening, everyone, time for FEATURE FRIDAY!!!!

High time actually, because this is the latest I've ever posted a FEATURE FRIDAY. It was just a big struggle today for some reason. The business I had in mind wasn't sure if they wanted/could make a decision on free local publicity in a blog...hm...so they shall remain unnamed haha. Thank goodness I have my connections in the Rockport business community and was able to move just a little bit up and across the street to one of my very favorite stores: Willoughby's, or, as I like to call it Willoughby's BOUTIQUE. After some technical difficulties with my internet connection I am finally up and running and ready to get this blog finished!

Willoughby's and I go way back to when the store, no, the boutique, was still located on Dock Square in the early 1990's. That's when I dropped in on owner Sharon McDonald and got myself a little side job selling all the things I like most: Clothes, handbags and jewelry. Willoughby's has in fact been a Rockport fixture for over 30 years. Sharon McDonald and her husband Mark also own and operate the very successful Helmut's Strudel Shop on Bearskin Neck. I worked at Willoughby's off and on for a total of 10 years until the end of the 2008 tourist season, mostly nights and weekends. So it is my great pleasure to feature this beautiful boutique in today's blog.

Willoughby's has an amazing, timeless selection of fine clothing and carries popular boutique brands such as Flax, Habitat, Cut Loose, Windriver, Curio and many more. Customers will actually come in season after season specifically to add the newest Flax collection to their wardrobe. Sharon personally buys every season's inventory at the boutique trade shows in New York City. She does an excellent job in finding special pieces to suit every taste. Many items are relaxed fit so you do not have to be a size 0 to find something unique. Whatever I buy at Willoughby's always garners lots of compliments and is a stand-out, be it one of their stunning sweaters, fun coats or a great necklace. Clothing sold at Willoughby's is also made to last, in quality as well as style, and the colors Sharon favors tend to combine very well with each other and with clothes you already have in your closet. I don't know how she nails it every time but she does!

Another really great aspect of Willoughby's is the arrangement of the inventory by color. This is not only eye catching when you enter the shop but also makes finding something to match very easy. Willoughby's also stocks a well thought out selection of accessories such as handbags, scarves, gloves, hats and pieces of cool jewelry to go with your clothing purchase.

The staff at Willoughby's is helpful and fashion savvy without being intrusive and pushy. This is a place where you can browse undisturbed and try on as many things as you like. But if you need help you don't have to run around the store in your unmentionables, or get completely dressed just to grab another size and undress all over again. Rather the attentive sales associates will get anything you need for you. They personally unpack, tag and steam (!) all new arrivals, resulting in a solid knowledge of inventory. 

I could go on and on but I have some more photos to show you. Next time you're in Rockport be sure to stop by Willoughby's and enjoy all this lovely boutique has to offer. They are open 7 days a week from April through December, and have evening hours during the summer season. Husbands can get "parked" on the beautiful porch while you shop :-)


20 Main Street, Rockport, MA 01966



Keep in mind that Rockport has a special, ongoing event called Rockport @ Night every first Friday of the month from May through October, 4 pm until 8 pm. There are lovely lanterns lighting the way, some live entertainment, and refreshments are offered in particiating shops and galleries. Don't miss out on the fun!