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Discover Lasell


January 07, 2020

studio1851 -- Lasell University's student-run boutique -- opened its first brick-and-mortar storefront on December 10, 2019.

Lasell students open the door to studio1851 at its grand opening in the Winslow Academic Center.

Until its official opening in the University's Winslow Academic Center, studio1851 existed as a pop-up boutique at various campus events. In its new location, students enrolled in Assistant Professor Kristin Kinsky's course have created a permanent ambiance in a prime location for the community to browse goods created or sourced by fashion students.

"This hands-on approach has given students the opportunity to test their knowledge and truly have responsibility and input into what goes on in the store," says Kinsky.

Kinsky arrived at Lasell in fall 2016 and signed on to teach retail operations the following semester. She sought (like many others in the School of Fashion) an opportunity to teach students through experience. A store, she argued, would be a valuable teaching resource. For their final project that semester, students in her course created business and marketing plans for new retail ventures. That became the starting pitch for studio1851.

Lasell community members at the opening of studio1851, the University's student-run fashion boutique.

"The idea was unanimously supported by senior management," says Kinsky, and despite many creative efforts to find a home for the boutique, availability was limited. In May 2019, the former Spector classroom in Winslow Academic Center became available.

Kinsky's course on pop-up management gives students credit-bearing opportunities to learn firsthand about store operations, customer relationships, promotion, brand management, and sales and inventory tracking. Enrolled students continued to explore relationships with outside vendors and collaborations with internal resources -- Fashion Design and Production peers, and friends in the Graphic Design League, for example -- to produce merchandise. Recent campus favorites included the "facul-tee," a t-shirt featuring photos of School of Fashion professors designed by Austin Averna '18 and the "FASHION." tee designed by Ashley Burke '19.

A t-shirt labeled "FASHION." on display at studio1851, Lasell University's student-run fashion boutique.

The addition of walls and a door has provided studio1851 with new opportunities for Connected Learning and cross-campus collaboration. Moving forward, Kinsky hopes that the permanent location solidify more opportunities for student internships and multidisciplinary courses in fashion, business, entrepreneurship, graphic design, and accounting.  

studio1851 sign

studio1851 seeks to offer students of diverse backgrounds and majors a hands-on experience in a brick-and-mortar retail space that supports local and fair trade works. studio1851 aims to facilitate a love of learning for students through concrete experiences in everyday aspects of running a business.

Photos by Jonathan Aponovich '22