If you’ve lived in or around Saratoga Springs in the past seven-and-a-half years, and you’re a woman, you’ve probably popped in Piper Boutique on Broadway. (And if you’re dating or married to a woman, you’ve probably been there, too.) The tiny shop has become a Downtown Saratoga staple for stylish ladies of all ages since it was opened by Alessandra Bange-Hall in 2011, and for good reason—everything in the store is under $100. “I started Piper Boutique because there were the super high-end stores on Broadway, but there wasn’t really anything for a young woman that was trendy but affordable,” Bange-Hall says.
After graduating from St. Lawrence University at the age of 20, Bange-Hall worked in finance for a couple of years before landing at style powerhouse Marc Jacobs in New York City, where she worked in global licensing. It was there that she developed an interest in fashion and moved back Upstate to open Piper Boutique three years later. “I always say I have a dream job—I shop and then I style people for a living,” she says. “But I like the business end of it, not just the styling end of it.” Nine months after opening her store in Saratoga, Bange-Hall opened another in Philadelphia adjacent to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
Besides Piper Boutique’s affordable price-point and wide-ranging target demographic, great customer service is a big part of the praise the store receives. “You can really come in with no idea what you’re looking for or what looks good on you, and you’re styled from head to toe,” Bange-Hall says. “It’s always rewarding when you have a woman who maybe doesn’t feel as comfortable [with her body], and she leaves feeling great about herself.”
What’s next for Piper Boutique? “Both stores are doing really, really well,” Bange-Hall says. “I guess I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing. I’ve really tried to refine the demographic a lot and cater more towards my customers.” With such a successful business and such loyal customers, it seems that just doing what she’s doing is the perfect business plan for Alessandra Bange-Hall.