Sister store of Bella opens on Main Street
By Kyooeun Jang
Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Indigo, the sister store of Bella, opened in Hanover on Sunday and will differ in its broader selection of clothing in a more prominent location, according to Indigo and Bella co-owner Mia Vogt. Vogt, who wanted to offer a wider variety of clothing lines, said she jumped at the opportunity to purchase the real estate that formerly housed Cynthia Reeves, a contemporary art gallery and Indigo’s current site.
“It all seemed to be a good next step,” Vogt said.
Students in search of casual apparel wear, such as denim jeans, flat shoes and boots, will be able to “satisfy their fix” at Indigo, according to Vogt.
The former gallery’s plain open space, basement stockroom and pre-existing office made the plant financially attractive and physically convenient for Vogt and her husband to purchase, she said.
“At Bella, it was a mess, and we had to redo everything,” Vogt said. “But here, we didn’t even have to touch up the walls — we just streamlined.”
While Indigo’s current advertising has been limited to its new Facebook page, Vogt plans to advertise in the Valley News newspaper in the coming weeks. Vogt said she will welcome possible consumer competition from J. Crew, which is set to open on Main Street in December.
“J. Crew is great, and we will share the same customers, but it’s definitely good for the town,” she said.
Similarly, clothing store managers at Talbots and The Pink Alligator said they welcomed Indigo’s presence in town.
Talbots, which sells formal wear such as suits and blazers, caters to an older demographic and does not have many overlapping products with either Bella or Indigo, according to Talbots manager Maria Lopresti. Lopresti that Talbots will likely have more of a product overlap and possible competition with J. Crew.
Ally Weiner-Sawyer, owner of The Pink Alligator, said she also welcomed Indigo’s opening because of its potential to bring more shoppers to the Hanover area.
“We’re very excited about it,” she said. “Anything to bring more people into Hanover is great for us.”
Some Dartmouth students, such as Sophie Choi ’14, said that most of the female students on campus would still prefer shopping online over shopping at Hanover stores. Many female students have new clothing directly shipped to their Hinman Boxes because they find stores in Hanover expensive, according to Choi.
“Some of my friends went to Bella because they needed a dress for formal, but I never went because I wanted to buy my dress way more cheaply online,” Choi said.
Indigo must keep their prices low in order to compete with the better-known J. Crew, which offers additional student discounts, according to Choi.
“J. Crew is expensive because it’s a multinational brand now,” Choi said. “Since it is such a well-known brand, people are willing to pay a premium for that brand name.”
Gabby Chen ’14 was unaware of Indigo’s existence but said that she was pessimistic about its success.
“Never in my three years at Dartmouth did I go to Hanover to shop,” Chen said.
Chen said she chooses to buy clothing elsewhere because of a lack of clothing stores for college-aged students and not their prices.
“If a new gelato store opened, everybody would be rushing there, but with clothing stores, it’s different,” she said.
Jiyoung Sohn, an exchange student from South Korea, said she frequents shops in Hanover because she does not have a car. Sohn has already visited Indigo and said she found the products attractive but above her budget, leading her to buy clothes at the Dartmouth Co-Op instead.
“I’ve walked by and was interested in the clothes and the nice interior that reminded me of the boutiques in Seoul,” Sohn said. “However, a pair of jeans cost $200, and a pair of flat shoes over $100, “ she said.
Indigo will host a grand opening event over Homecoming weekend, Vogt said.