INTERN INTERVIEWS PROPRIETOR - By Emma Niro
Angela Courtney, founder and owner of Sweetest Sin Boutique, is celebrating the boutique’s ten year anniversary with coworkers and customers this coming October. I had the privilege of sitting down with her to learn about the inner workings and history of this boutique beloved by many–both men and women of all ages. Whether it be a man shopping for his wife or a young teenage girl getting her first fitting, Angela has made Sweetest Sin a second home to her customers.
But how did this home come into existence? When did this idea become a reality? When Angela was a child, she always dreamed of opening her own business due to the hardwork, grit, and determination she admired so much in her parents who immigrated from Greece to the United States. They started at the bottom and worked their way to the top–the American Dream. From working in factories to opening their own businesses, her parents never wished for an easier way to achieve their goals. They were never given anything; they took it and ran with it and made a profit of it. Angela followed right in their footsteps, saying, “Even when I went to school, I always knew I was going for business and marketing, not [necessarily] a degree.” She was always looking at the bigger picture, the aftermath of her education. And just like the business itself, the name Sweetest Sin Boutique did not happen over night. Angela and her husband James spent hours upon hours wondering how to encapsulate such an intimate but necessary place for women of all ages. “I wanted to encompass what the store was going to be,” she said. Everything from “every day bras to the sexy side of the lingerie world… So how do we marry that and make it an intimates boutique for all women?” The name isn’t meant to prevent your daughter from shopping there or your grandmother or even your husband if he wants to get you something special. The name is a reminder to take care of yourself, to treat yourself. Sweetest Sin is the gem of Monmouth County that all women need in their lives.
Angela’s interest in the lingerie business “evolved organically.” While she was still dreaming of owning her own business (despite not knowing what that business may be), Angela worked as an employee at a local boutique that had everything from dresses to jeans to sweaters to bras. Angela was immediately drawn to the intimates section of the boutique, and proceeded to train on how to find the perfect bra for every woman. It was at this time that she realized this was the direction in which she wanted to go. This was the direction Angela not only understood, but loved, and realized there was a desperate need for a place like Sweetest Sin, a place to come out, feeling more confident than when you walked in.
Sweetest Sin is more than just a boutique; it’s an experience. Walking into the boutique, you receive “unsurpassed customer service [and] a personal one on one experience.” No one is a customer, but a guest. No one is a stranger, but a new friend. Angela and the employees of Sweetest Sin “do the work for you.” You’re not expected to go through racks and racks of bras. The team at Sweetest Sin fit you, and then proceed to shop for you to “find out what fits, what’s comfortable, and what’s pretty.” But they take it even a step further by tracking all your purchases, knowing what you like and what you don’t like, creating a Wish List of items you’ve had your eye on, having a “curated list of well-fitting brands at all price points,” and an exclusive bra club–a thank you gift to their loyal customers.
When I asked Angela what have been the highlights over these past ten years at Sweetest Sin, what has made the hard work all worth it, her immediate response was the customers. They are what make the job so rewarding for Angela and her team. They have allowed the team to see them and help them through “the good and the bad, the weddings and the funerals, the births and the illnesses.” They have found this group of remarkable women to become their new “trusted girlfriends,” the women who will be there for you through the thick and thin. These intimate relationships extend even beyond Sweetest Sin’s door and their loyal customers. Angela has built relationships with the Red Bank community and her fellow business owners. She has integrated herself and become a friendly face to many. She has made Sweetest Sin a missing piece to a puzzle Red Bank didn’t realize was missing until she showed up.
Finally, I was able to ask Angela the question the Red Bank community has been dying to know: What is Sweetest Sin doing to celebrate the ten year anniversary? It’s going to be a celebration you won’t forget. Angela claims, “We are going big this year with a huge shopping event and a trunk show at the boutique to start it off on Friday, October 4th from five to eight.” They are then continuing the celebration at Teak rooftop. “All are invited. Come celebrate with us!” Come celebrate the ten years of female empowerment and confidence this boutique has given to all who shop here. Come celebrate a young, successful businesswoman who made it with only hard work and determination and a love for her new friends. Come celebrate every woman who has discovered self-love all over again, a newfound sexiness they thought they lost or never had. Come celebrate the boutique where your wife bought her lingerie for your honeymoon. Come celebrate the boutique where you bought your first bra after battling and winning your fight against breast cancer. Come celebrate the place where you bought your first big girl bra. Come celebrate the women who helped pick out your grandmother’s pajamas for Christmas. Come celebrate Angela Courtney and her team at Sweetest Sin, the women who make the magic happen. – by Emma Niro