Workshop Inc. is another one of those really great (slightly off the beaten path) clothing boutiques that we have here in Litchfield County. You’re either in the know, or you know now! This place is great! We discovered so many designers and lines that we never knew…and now love!!
We bring to you four different looks each and a Q&A with store owner Jan Nelson. Workshop Inc can be found at 10 Cobble Court, Litchfield, in perhaps the cutest cobblestone courtyard we’ve ever seen.
Jan invited us to partake in one of our favorite pastimes…it’s “style an outfit” time!! You should see us do these fashion features (some customers did bear witness)…it’s like a game of supermarket sweep. Lora repeating to me very firmly, for the 2nd time, “You must find a chain link belt.”
How long have you owned the Workshop Inc.?
46+ years (1970).
Has your vision for the store changed since you began?
At the age of 19, my funds were limited. I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to (and could not) compete with the well-established clothing and gift stores of Litchfield. The Workshop and I have matured together. As my horizons expanded, Workshop Inc. also grew to be more diverse and sophisticated. From the start, I always strived to find merchandise not available in Northwest Connecticut.
Today, the Workshop offers many lines that may not be available anywhere else in the state.
Issey Miyake “Pleats Please” Lips blouse, Lisette pants, Bao Bao Issey Miyake tote, and Transparent necklace that Lora used as a headband
Weston sequinned jacket, babette tank, JAG high rise skinny pants, Ashlyn’d clutch
Suzi Roher belt, Ashlyn’d clutch
How would you describe your customer?
My customers are as diverse as the items I sell. Many have traveled extensively, have a high taste-level, and appreciate good quality. They appreciate the fact they can find items under one roof which can be put together to suit their personality, body shape, style, and age.
Baciano sweater, Margaret O’Leary tee, JAG jeans
Kay Celine tunic, Amy Kahn Russell earrings, Yoga Jeans by Second Denim Co.
We love the number of new lines you have introduced us to today, e.g. T.ba, Issey Miyake, Arche, Mycra Pac – where/how do you choose the lines you carry?
I go to 2 to 6 major clothing and accessory shows in NYC every year – mainly to get an overview of what the trends are. But every once in awhile I will run across a new line which literally stops me in my tracks! “T.ba” from Spain and “Issey Miyake” as well as “Love Heals” jewelry are 3 of those lines.
I wore Arche shoes for years before I first ordered them for the store. I also notice what my customers are wearing and will often follow-up and look into their suggestions of merchandise they would like me to carry.
T.ba “Medalion coat”, Zelda “Paris” silk blouse, Yoga Jeans high rise ponte legging by Second Denim Co.
Kinross cashmere turtleneck, T.ba skirt and necklace
What does every woman in Litchfield County need in their wardrobe this fall?
Every woman has her own special style. They should all come to the Workshop to find something they love, feel good in, and great about themselves! We urge our customers to bring in items in their closets that they haven’t been able to wear because they don’t have the right items to work together.
Ooh, what a great idea! We have a lot of items like that!
Mycra Pac raincoat
Mycra Pac raincoat and bag (they come together!), Yoga Jeans high rise ponte legging by Second Denim Co.
What excites you the most about your business?
My recent move to Cobble Court has been very exciting. After 3-1/2 years here – (as someone described) “in my own little muse” I’m still rearranging and making improvements to the place. Our Art Gallery upstairs has been fun.
As far as the day-to-day retail part of the business goes, I am very lucky to have such a diverse and interesting clientele – I enjoy working and knowing every one of them.
What don’t our readers know about the store that you want them to know?
Much too often a long-time customer will walk into the store amazed to find that we only moved around the corner – after thinking we had gone out of business 3-1/2 years ago. This is always disappointing to hear.
What makes your store unique?
Everything. Location – Charm – Variety – Personality, etc, etc, etc.
Big thanks to Jan and her team for all of their help! And a special thanks to Pilar DeMann, our makeup artist….stay tuned for her feature this week!
10 Cobble Court, Litchfield, CT
Words: Bev/Pics by Lora & Bev