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Meet Lana Barakat of December Thieves in Beacon Hill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lana Barakat.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After my university years in Boston, I pursued a career in advertising and spent my first few years out of school working for a multinational advertising agency in both their Mexico City and London offices.

While in Mexico I began collaborating with local silversmiths to develop a custom line of bold, statement jewelry. This hobby turned passion, turned eventual career, served as a creative outlet to a corporate job that was becoming increasingly administrative and stifling.

At the age of 27, while living in London, I abandoned my job, moved back to Boston and launched my first retail store in a small storefront on Newbury Street.

Fast forward many years later. After a brief hiatus, I am back at the helm of a growing retail venture with two storefronts in Beacon Hill and a soon-to-launch e-commerce site.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
December Thieves grew out of experience and passion so breaking back into the retail game after taking a few years off actually felt pretty natural to me. While some things had changed on the small business landscape- primarily the importance of social media as a marketing tool- and the need to learn some new tricks, the overall transition felt seamless.

Where I struggled (and continue to do so!) is with TIME- finding it and using it wisely to keep my business in motion is by far one of my biggest challenges. As I navigate being both a small business owner and a mom of two young children (Naya and Milo ages 8 and 6) I am in the constant search for balance.

Please tell us about December Thieves.
The December Thieves storefronts (and soon to launch e-commerce site) bring to market small batch emerging designer fashion, accessory and home brands from around the globe. We work hard to identify makers and designers that play a significant role in the design and production of their own independent labels and we source from their hardly-seen-before collections.

We are passionate about the hunt (the more obscure the find, the better!) and the relationships we nurture with our designers. Our unusual collections and our inviting storefronts which are artistic in-house labors of love, aim to inspire.

December Thieves serves as an outlet to connect with new brands and partake in their stories, and is a platform from which we foster community between artist/maker/designer and the people that are passionate about their work.

Besides a running roster of events and pop-ups that bring together our local design community and our customers, we also run a “Be a Maker” workshop series in order to provide a warm and inviting opportunity for our customers to get creative. By encouraging people to “getting their hands dirty” while learning a skill from a local artist, we hope to nurture a greater appreciation for the time and energy that goes into the small batch, handcrafted process behind our collections.

We are proud that we have opened two stores in the last four years and that we continue to grow, improve and evolve. We are proud to have a unique footprint in Boston’s retail landscape and are honored by our accolades which include a three year in a row Boston Magazine ‘Best of Boston’, and the Improper Magazine ‘Boston’s Best’ winner!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Art played a huge role in my childhood and while nothing specific jumps out as a single favorite memory, the joy I recall from surrounding myself by my drawing and crafting materials and the support I felt from my family in doing so, abounds.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Steph Larsen Photography, Joel Benjamin Photography

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