Lifestyle » Volume 49

Mainstream Boutique is dressing up Central Mass

By Diana Holiner

Carrie Goodwin, owner of Mainstream Boutique in Northborough, is changing the fashion world in New England.

Making every kind of woman feel confident is one of the main goals of the boutique. “If I make a woman feel beautiful, then that’s more than I could ever hope for. And that’s definitely the feedback we’re getting,” Goodwin said. Looking around the store, it is unlikely you won’t find something that fits your style. Clothes range from dressy to casual, with everything in between. The store offers dresses, sweaters, tops, jeans, jewelry, scarves, handbags, hats, gloves, jackets and shoes for all women. In fact, Goodwin said she sold one particular blue dress to both a 17-year-old and a 70-year-old – and it looked fantastic on both women.

Goodwin, who is from New York, moved to Northborough years ago and now lives in Boylston. With a background in mergers and acquisitions for health care franchises, Goodwin knew she wanted to open a clothing store. Then, she found the Mainstream Boutique franchise. Goodwin, whose store is the only Mainstream Boutique in New England, opened in August.

“I expected it to ramp up slower; I expected to grow steadier. Instead, we’ve just been busy since we’ve opened. All of the feedback has been positive. Beyond what I had ever imagined. … It’s just been amazing,” Goodwin said. “I love when [women] feel really good about the things I’m putting them in. I love working with the customers. I love when they say, ‘I love this store. I love the variety; I love how different the variety is.’”

When it comes to making customers feel good, that is Mainstream’s mission. “I think we make sure that women feel very confident in the clothes that they’re in. I won’t push sales onto customers in things that they’re uncomfortable in. I will try to make them take a risk. I’m also very honest about what looks good on them. Being honest is important, so that the brand and the customer look good.”

Not only is Goodwin making customers confident, she is also exposing them to new and exciting trends. “I think I have the advantage of bringing the market of the West Coast and Midwest to the East Coast.”

Of the coming trends, she said we will see a lot of denim – bellbottom jeans are making a comeback – flannels and fringe. We will also see a lot more color than we’ve seen in the past, with vibrant colors like purple, fuchsia and red taking center stage.

Goodwin said her customers are also starting to take risks with prints. “I wondered if New England would handle that OK. I didn’t know how people were going to be about that. I expected people to be more conservative, but they’re not – they’re really happy to be back in a store with a more bohemian feel to it.”

She showed me a dress that she jokingly described as looking like an EKG, but despite that, it is beautiful and selling. She picked out another dress to show me; this one has a bit of crazy print – and it’s almost out of stock.

“We get women of all sizes. We get professional businesswomen; we get stay-at-home moms. We get a diverse group of people and age group. We buy for everybody.”

For more information, visit or check out the store’s Facebook page.

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