SAULT's South End of Boston location
We're back with another profile with one of our amazing retail partners. This month, we're featuring Philip Saul of SAULT. Philip opened his first shop in a covetable space on Tremont St. in the South End of Boston four years ago. This spring, he opened his second location in Portsmouth, NH. Based on the photos we've seen on instagram, it looks amazing. But who would expect anything less from Philip.
You have an impressive background in merchandising for large brands. What inspired you to switch gears and open your own shop?
I was feeling that I wanted to do more with my skills and I saw the trend leaning towards the independent retailer. I also admired those who made the choice to do their own thing and thought I could use all the skills from my past roles in retail to open my own store. I was very lucky to cash in some stock options and re-invest in myself. Fast forward four years and here I am!
Philip putting in some grunt work for an event with GQ in the South End
You have a great eye for design and quality brands. What are some of the most important things you consider when selecting brands to carry in SAULT?
I always think to myself, who is going to buy this? Is it too trendy? Too expensive? Where is it made? Also, will it fit into what I'm feeling for the season? It's all about the mix of products. I try my best to make sure I've got something for every guy that comes through my door and that I can offer a good price range.
What brought you to the South End for your first shop? And similarly, what drew you to Portsmouth to open your second?
I've lived in the South End neighborhood of Boston for the past 15 years. I knew the area was the perfect fit for what SAULT would be. At least I really hoped it would be... It has a great mix of young cool dads, gay and straight single guys that know and enjoy shopping. The neighborhood is always evolving and growing. I knew the area would be a great place to start a business. Last year I had the opportunity to work with a very good friend with the build out, design, and opening of his Hotel in Portsmouth. I was there a lot for the project and it had me thinking, this would be a great place to open a second shop. Portsmouth is filled with history but is having a second wave of growth with new hotels, new restaurants, and some great retail shops and galleries. This past Spring I choose Portsmouth, NH to open up a second location. It's been allot of work but business has been great so far.
Running two shops must be challenging. What does a typical day as the shop owner of Sault look like?
Hmmm, it all depends on the day I guess. I usually go in around 9:15ish and work till close, 7:00-7:30. As the business owner you have to do it all - sales, restocking, merchandising, ordering, bill paying, answering e-mails. Toss in instagram and lots of iced coffee and there ya have it! I split my time between both stores now. Usually Monday through Wednesday I'm in Boston and Thursday through Saturday I'm in Portsmouth with Sunday being my day off. I have a great Shop manager in Boston that has worked with the growth of our .com site and our Manager in Portsmouth has been amazing. I try to take every opportunely to enjoy the little things, but always keep in mind that hard work pays off.
Thanks so much Philip for chatting with us! Congrats again on the new location. All photos are from SAULT's instagram.
Philip knows the secret weapon to beat the summer heat