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By Sasha Fastovskiy

It’s All About the Tush

Meet Deb Covino and Shannon Gray of Tush Denim

With its grand opening on November 10th, the latest arrival on Canal St. is a perfect fit ~ literally. Welcome Tush Denim Boutique, the jeans specialist and a true high-end boutique. Tricked out with a pink suede couch and zebra wallpaper, it’s hard to miss. “We’re here because we want to see the evolution of Canal St. You’ve got to believe in your city, help with the development, not just sign up when it happens,” says Deb Covino, co-owner of the fruitful new endeavor. “There’s no competition here ~ and it’s especially helpful that people are actually into it,” adds business partner Shannon Gray, the Los Angeles native with experience from Newbury St. jeweler Betsy Jenney. “Do you see how great this is? You won’t have to drive an hour for designer jeans anymore. It’ll be on the to-do list. Let’s go to the grocery store, let’s go to Target, let’s go to Tush!” Great? More like the seam-busting.

“There’s nothing like a good pair of jeans,” says Covino. “You’ll put them on, and you’ll see the difference. It’s not like regular department store jeans, you will still have these in ten years and they’ll still be great.” Gray laughs, adding, “You can put on regular jeans and it’s like, ‘Hey, what happened to my tush? Where’d my tush go?’ You won’t have that problem with a good pair of jeans.”

The name hails from hours of brainstorming, explains the dynamic denim duo. “It was like our baby, we wouldn’t tell anyone the name until we were sure we loved it,” says Covino. When they came up with Tush, thanks to Deb’s husband Mike Covino, they knew they had struck gold. “It just made sense…what’s the best thing about hot jeans? The tushie. It was ‘the one.’

‘Starting a high-end boutique in Worcester may have been challenging at first, but the ladies knew they had a worthwhile vision. “Worcester is pretty fashion conscious…it has a good fashion sense. We want to come in and raise the bar for fashion. Even more so, we want to provide a great experience on top of a great pair of jeans.”

They’re enjoying starting up their business, says Covino. “We just got Blackberries, and we’re developing our website and our Myspace page. It’s funny to think about how 3 months ago, we knew none of this. We lied our way into the designer shows at first, now here we are.”

Tush will be more of a social experience than just a jeans depot. “We’re bringing in hospitality and sales. We serve cappuccinos, have a signature pink drink, want to start our own Tush sweats and pajama line, we have a dream,” said Gray.

Not only do they sell stunning denim from designers like William Rast, 7 For All Mankind, Hudson, Joe’s Red Engine, and the Oprah-favorite “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans,” they have smaller and less expensive products: shoes by Naughty Monkey and Oh Deer, jewelry, accessories from Ed Hardy and Free People, and trinkets like custom tampon holders (some complete with fans for those suffering from hot flashes) are offered for every type of customer. Men don’t have to worry either ~ Covino and Grey set out to target a large audience, including men, so they have four lines of men’s jeans. “Men will shop here too,” says Gray. “They just have to deal with the pink couch.”

The Tush social calendar will keep everyone busy. Events are being planned, so get ready for trunk shows, bachelorette parties, girls’ nights, specials on jeans for college students (show your college I.D for 10% off on Thursdays), and “Exchange your old designer jeans for store credit” parties. Adds Gray, “It’s more than a store…it’s like the biggest closet ever.”

“It’s gonna be fun, it’s all been fun,” says Covino. “The biggest risk reaps the biggest reward, and we did that.” Is there anything else they would like to add? “Yes,” says Gray, “Come shop!”

Deb and Shannon also weighed in on winter’s top trends: Baby-doll tops, round-toe shoes and ballet slippers, darker/dressier jeans, and wide-leg trousers.

Tush Denim, 138 Green St., Worcester, 508-791-TUSH, www.tushdenim.com

…and the Face
Meet Leanny Acosta and Jennifer Hill of Facemakers

The famous Facemakers chain has gotten a makeover. The most established store location, right in White City in Shrewsbury, has been situated there for over 26 years, and on September 1st, Jennifer Hill and Jeanny Acosta took over and began their revamp of the sanctuary for beauty products. Additions to the Facemakers revolution include certified in-store services like an up-and-coming facial room that offers, among other services, waxing and skin-care assistance. Also up-and-coming? The Facemakers website, complete with product descriptions ~ products of which they have a glorious plethora.

“We sell professional products to the public,” says Acosta, a 22-year old co-owner and certified cosmetologist. She speaks the truth; perusing the store will find you all sorts of goodies certified to fit any complexion, hair type, and wallet. “We have a lot of the newer, younger makeup, like Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics, the increasingly popular TG Bedhead makeup line, and a lot of private labeled products,” elaborates Acosta. Although typically known for their makeovers, the quaint shop offers beauty lines and products, as well as in-house hospitality. “We get a lot of younger people, the 18-35 group, and a healthy mix of the more mature crowd, and men as well ~ they want to look good too. They really span the age group,” says Hill. “We have great regular customers, sometimes a week will go by and we’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh, they didn’t come in this week.’ The customers require a lot of attention, we’re here to do that.”

“We’re the mediator in between the salon and the home. You can go to a hair salon and they’ll make your hair look great, but they can’t tell you how to do it at home. And they can’t explain how to use the products they sell you because they’re getting ready for the next person. Drugstores as well ~ they have millions of products, but they don’t know and don’t care what looks good. That’s what we’re here for.”

Hill agrees, adding, “We have all the products here to do whatever a customer wants, but we pride ourselves on trying to give the perfect advice to each client. If they want flaming red hair, they’ll find a way to do it because we carry that, but we’ll explain if it’ll work or not.”

“We have six girls working here altogether, and one of us [Hill or Acosta] is always here, 7 days a week, which is how we really develop a rapport with the clients,” says Hill. Catering to individual customers and being able to answer all their questions requires attention ~ something the Facemakers crew is glad to give. “I shopped here before I owned it,” laughs Acosta. “It really is and has always been about the service. Every person who comes in here is asked ‘Can we help you find anything?’ We’re here to teach, and people come in here to learn what’s really right for them.”

The Facemakers duo is glad to step in and help with the adaptations of popular trends, and they’re weighing in on the must-haves for this winter:

Lips: “A bright lipstick, like Bed Head Perfect Red Lip Crayon.”

Skin: “A really good moisturizer, like Murad Essential C line. [$90]”

Hair: “The glamorous look is in ~ voluminous, healthy hair. Try Pureology Hydrating Mask Conditioner [$45]. As for cuts, the biggest copy-cats are following the cuts sported by Katie Holmes, Victoria Beckham, and Jennifer Aniston’s shine.”

Facemakers, 50 Boston Tnpk (Rte 9), Shrewsbury, 508-791-2682


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