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Fashion: Heart of Brass

New boutique brings some much-needed fashion sense to Gilbert

 by Stephanie Berger
 published on Thursday, November 17, 2005

<em>Photo courtesy of Tiffe Fermaint</em>/issues/arts/694948
Photo courtesy of Tiffe Fermaint
 

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Tempe fashionistas may still find themselves traveling to hip locations in Scottsdale in search of the newest trends, but their search for style no longer needs to be a day trip.

With the opening of Brass Heart at the Dana Park Village Square in Gilbert, fashion is a mere 15 minutes away.

Brass Heart owner Sarah Greene says she fell in love with fashion at a young age. Born in Phoenix but raised in San Francisco, Green, 28, says she got a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California Santa Barbara, but always knew she wanted to work in the fashion industry.

When working in the corporate environment as a buyer for stores such as Macy's didn't end up as glamorous as Rachel's job on "Friends," Greene says she changed her focus.

Greene says she was always interested in starting her own clothing store and developed the idea of what her store would be like when she was a buyer. Once she decided to make her entrepreneurial dream come true, Greene took only three months to open Brass Heart, from merchandising to choosing the store's light pink walls with green trim and heavy black curtains for the dressing rooms.

"Once you're driven and you know what you want, it's not hard," she says. "There was nobody who was going to stop me from making this happen."

Greene says Brass Heart is a reflection of her personal style -- which means lots of bright, jeweled tones, lush fabrics like, velvets and velours, and soft cotton fabrics like nubby sweaters and paper-thin wool.

"It's a cross between funky California and a little bit more laid-back Arizona," she says.

Ranging in price from around $45 for simple cotton tees to more than $200 for embroidered dresses, Brass Heart carries a combination of feminine, girly styles and tougher, punk-rock designs.

Ed Hardy T-shirts have airbrushed-style art such as flaming eyeballs and skulls and crossbones with the words "Love Kills Slowly" across the chest (they'll set you back $80). These sit on racks next to soft Rebecca Taylor wool tank tops and sweaters, and Blue Cult, Hudson and Free People designer jeans.

Shopper Rhea-Lynn Webster, a 27-year-old hairstylist, says she loves Brass Heart's clothing.

"They're a bit pricey, but they fit perfectly and you can tell they will last forever," she says.

Greene adds Brass Heart is meant for women of all ages.

"It's really more of a state of mind," she says. "If you think you can wear it, wear it."

Reach the reporter at stephanie.m.berger@asu.edu



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