Christina Pimental found retail by fortunate accident. She was helping her father renovate his recently purchased Watch Hill home in 1987, “back when houses were affordable in Watch Hill,” she says, when a woman who became her mentor suggested she should open a store. “I was 22 at the time, and I figured it would be easy to do,” Christina says. “It was a huge learning experience. I just loved people and unique items.” Now, after running her Watch Hill store for over 30 years, she’s saying goodbye to beachfront retail to focus on her downtown Westerly location and helping other emerging creatives get their start.
Christina LTD is a store that’s hard to describe - but try anyway.
We’re a mother/daughter boutique, meaning we sell women’s clothing for any age, but we have a lot for men, too. For clothing, we carry a lot of Free People and Wooden Ships – a super cool sweater line that once you wear it, you want another one. Lots of glassware, barware, a little bit of homeware and gifts. We blend it like a painting. That’s why people constantly see the store change. We always have some project going on.
What’s “Local Love Shared Space”?
We try to curate local. My passion is for stuff made in New England, especially in Rhode Island. If somebody makes jewelry or pottery or a food item, we give them free space in the front of the store to sell their stuff, completely for free. That help might make the difference for a small business like I had all those years ago. With a little support I was able to launch a 31-year-old business. I really want to give back. We’re very big about supporting small business and sharing.
Tell us about Vintage Green, your private label denim.
We hand patch a lot of the denim we carry, adding embroidery or different fabric, and turning old jeans into skirts. We used to make dresses and quilts from vintage sheets. I love to take shirts and completely deconstruct them, adding different sleeves or embroidery. That’s where I want to turn my attention now, back to that one-of-a-kind custom stuff.
There’s such a cool vibe happening in Westerly right now.
Downtown is full of good vibes and new stuff. I’m very excited to be here. I think there’s a lot happening. It’s on the cutting-edge of restaurants and taverns. I would love for more retail to be open late. You have a huge beach community and there’s not so much to do at night. My last customer on the night before the Fourth of July was 11 pm. We stay open until the last customer leaves. I always say, “bring your kids, bring your dogs, there’s nothing you can’t touch in here.” We’re working on adding App Nights with local restaurants, and we’re bringing in taps, so people will be able to have a really cool experience.
What’s with those mystery boxes?
They’ve been with us about 20 years. We always have one or two of something left, so we put them in Chinese food takeout containers and sell them as mystery boxes that cost anywhere from $1 to $5 to $12. You never know what you’re getting. It’s like turning the handle on the trinket machine. It’s a fun thing we’ve
1 Canal Street, Westerly • 315-2615