A boutique women’s fitness wear shop will open Aug. 1 in downtown New Canaan, carrying items that its owner says cannot be found anywhere else here or in surrounding communities.
Jade owner Maxine Berg calls her business an alternative to lululemon athletica. It began a few years ago as a trunk show business and has been operating since January 2013 out of dedicated space in the Goodwives Shopping Center in Darien, Berg said.
A former commercial litigation and real estate attorney (still licensed in Connecticut) who lives in Wilton and launched Jade after raising her three kids (youngest entering his freshman year at Wilton High School), Berg said she has “always wanted” to be in New Canaan.
It’s just been a question of when the right space would become available, she said. Jade will open Aug. 1 at 7 Elm St., currently Skirtin Around.
“It’s been great in Darien, as well, but I feel it’s a perfect fit for New Canaan with our clientele,” Berg told NewCanaanite.com. “We have Go Figure across the street, a yoga studio around the block, and there’s Oxygen Fitness—there is so much in town and I think the vibe of the town is exactly what works for me. It’s a happy business district and a happy downtown shopping area. People are smiling and even though everyone is busy, they’re not dashing. It’s a leisurely place.”
About 60 percent of what Jade carries falls into a general category of high-end fitness wear, Berg said, and it’s all U.S.-made. Offerings span 30 different lines and Berg said she’s conscious of “having something for everyone,” from 14- to 80-year-olds.
“Older women are keeping fit and working out and they need to be comfortable, too, and they will not wear what their grandchildren are wearing,” Berg said.
“We also carry lovely, boutique-y lines, what we call ‘lifestyle apparel,’ really nice comfortable fabrics that you can wear in everyday life— over yoga pants, wraps and tops and causal pants, tank tops, every day lifestyle clothing that goes with the active lifestyle.”
Jade for years has belonged to the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and participated in the Village Fair & Sidewalk Sale (coming up July 19).
Chamber Executive Director Tucker Murphy said the organization is pleased that Jade has found a permanent home in town.
“We knew they wanted to be here for some time,” Murphy said.
She also noted that Jade has worked with the chamber in the past “and know they will support this community and be a great addition to our village.”
Berg said she’s deeply involved in volunteering in her hometown, including with the Wilton Education Foundation, and is committed to supporting local businesses.
“I feel very, very strongly about local,” she said. “If I want people shopping local then I have to support their local interests as well.”
Berg said the new space is “perfect” for her.
“It’s not too big and I really wanted to keep that homey feeling while also try to make it not too crowded, so that you can see everything,” she said.
The owners of Skirtin Around were not immediately available for comment. A worker at the store said it will participate in the Sidewalk Sale and that Skirtin Around will continue to operate its Nantucket location.