Passion for Luxury Textiles
The NEW Farley’s of Newburyport
A Story That Came Full Circle
Pictures | facebook.com/FarleysofNewburyport
John Allison, owner of the high end men’s apparel shop, John Farley’s Clothiers, in downtown Newburyport wished new owners, Lisa Burke and T.J. Conte, well at a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony last night.
“It’s a pleasure to pass along something that meant so much to me, to those who have shared in the experience,” said Allison.
Conte, a well-known businessman throughout the north shore already owning four funeral homes, became a client of Farley’s many years ago, preferring this Newburyport clothing destination over shopping in departments stores.
“Outside of customer service, my success over the years was providing high quality items not typically seen elsewhere, and that’s how I was able to meet long-time customers like T.J.,” said Allison.
Now after decades of being in business, Conte and Burke will assume the John Farley Clothier’s brand, while Allison and his wife and business partner Linda, will stay on as consultants throughout the initial Fall/Winter months of the store’s reopening.
The new Farley’s of Newburyport is still located in downtown, Massachusetts, though it has moved from Water Street to 47 State Street, the former Chase & Lunt Insurance building.
Entering the doors I was nothing but impressed and entertainment, as the showroom is truly a work of art and reminded me of a high end men’s clubhouse meets luxury wardrobe.
Beautifully arranged prints and luxurious fall fabrics decorate every inch of the custom cabinets, lit by the elegant fixtures of Newburyport Light Company, and surrounded by sophisticated, yet rustic (manly) items including a bar, pool table, sculptures and a gorgeous motorcycle displayed in the main showroom.
“The motorcycle was my late husband’s,” said Burke. “Now he’s here wishes us well too.”
Burke remembers the day when Conte learned of John Farley’s retirement. While he was happy for Farley, he felt sadness the Newburyport landmark would be no longer.
“I told him let’s do it! Let’s keep it going. We can make it a family business,” said Burke.
Together between the two, Burke and Conte have six children, all who played major roles in the store’s renovation and reopening, which according to Burke, was no short of a miracle to accomplish under such tight deadlines.
“By the time we heard of John’s retirement in August and decided to go for the opportunity, the former space had been committed to another tenant,” said Burke. “So when we entered the old Chase & Lunt building, we knew it was the one and that we had to move quickly.”After landing their spot and renovating it from a former enterprise space (all 37,00 sq ft) to a high-end retail destination, next Burke and Conte looked to Farley for assistance ordering the fall collections, which under other circumstances would have been placed several months prior.
“Tomorrow I’m heading to Maine, we need more sport jackets and a friend of mine said we can borrow some. That’s what so many years in the business does, creates relationships,” said Farley.
And while of course Farley’s of Newburyport will strive to preserve each of these relationships, matching the level of customer service John Farley’s Clothiers clients have come to trust, the Burke and Conte team also plan on introducing new elements into the store.
“I can definitely see us expanding into women’s clothing,” said Burke. “Eventually I would want to create an entire top level of all women’s fashion, but to start I think a few select items men can purchase as gifts would be nice.”
For now, the store is open, and includes a comprehensive collection of menswear from business to casual and sport, including designer suits, shirts, pants, footwear and accessories.