, a clothing boutique on Water Street in Warren, celebrates eight years in business this week with an on Thursday, June 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. and tandem weekend sale. The shop, owned by Sara Volino and daughter Keri Cronin, boasts a highly curated collection of clothing by independent designers not often seen this side of New York City or London.
After Cronin’s daughter reached middle school age, Cronin decided it was time to get back into a creative venture. She and Volino knew they wanted to work together and began thinking about a gourmet food store. Ultimately, they realized their shared background in working retail management and sales for apparel businesses made a better fit with a clothing boutique. In a moment of inspiration, they decided to keep the name DISH.
“Though the name was initially inspired by food, we liked it because it suggests so many things. ‘Dish’ is a word that inspires inquisitiveness,” says Cronin.
When DISH first opened its doors, Warren’s shopping scene was limited, for the most part, to antique stores and mom-and-pop shops. Cronin says DISH was the first store of its kind, paving the way for other specialized small businesses.
Designers represented at DISH run the gamut from big names to unknowns. Heavy-hitters such as Issey Miyake and Lillith have a presence with their smaller “diffusion lines,” while up-and-coming designers such as Modaspia are breaking into the business.
Sustainability is an underlying ethos of the store, with many of their designers producing and manufacturing local to their homes and using eco-friendly fabrics. They also carry non-toxic nail polishes and jewelry by local artisans. The result is high-fashion with low-impact.
Cronin and Volino know most of their customers by first name. Many of them come from far-flung places, stopping in whenever they’re in town visiting family. When not working, the mother and daughter team are active in the community at large. Volino is the President of the Economic Development Board, while Cronin is a newly elected Board member to the Bristol Warren Educational Foundation and member of the Warren Preservation Society. Both are also active in Discover Warren and in planning the Warren Walkabout event.
“When we opened DISH eight years ago people were surprised we chose Warren. We both felt strongly that it had everything we wanted in a community and in a location,” says Cronin. “We’re really glad we made that choice.”