These creative entrepreneurs play host at the coolest space in the Boston suburbs!
It’s a chic space perfect for pop-up retail experiences, gatherings, photo shoots or, simply, an inspirational corporate meeting.
Launched in fall 2018 by Hingham locals Annie Pratt and Heather Schuhwerk, The Guesthouse has quickly become a go-to for brands looking to integrate in this sought-after community, test driving new products, new services and new experiences—experiences that, to date, have included premier apparel, accessories, home decor and sports apparel brands, as well as artists and creatives.
“Annie comes from a sales background and I come from retail marketing,” explains Heather. “We both wanted to work for ourselves and wanted something that speaks to our passions. We have a friend in New York who runs a similar business, and that really inspired us, initially.”
Today, The Guesthouse sits in a prime Hingham location, surrounded by shops and cafes. “And—even better—we both live about a mile down the road!” says Heather.
Just one year in and, already, their calendar is packed with incredible pop-ups, art installations and other great events. On May 21st and 22nd, The Guesthouse welcomes Just Madras and Carrie Dunham. Then, a week later, Boston-based kids’ clothing boutique Kodomo moves in, just in time for summer.
We chatted with Annie and Heather about their experience in the suburbs and why they decided to open The Guesthouse in their hometown.
When did you decide to move to Hingham?
After some moving around, Annie landed in Hingham in 2014 and Heather in 2003.
Why did you decide to call Hingham “home?”
“My husband and I got married, had kids and moved to another suburb first—then to Colorado,” explains Annie. “But when we ended up coming back to the East coast we knew Hingham is where we wanted to settle. We just loved it here.”
For Heather, Hingham was always the perfect place to live. “I grew up here,” she says. “My husband and I moved back here when starting a family. We moved back for the community, the schools and of course the ocean.”
How does living in Hingham inspire you and your work?
“We wanted to launch a business in Hingham, where we live,” explains Annie. “We feel like we know our community. I think, in this kind of business, you have to know who your shoppers are and what they want and need.”
Heather agrees. “A big part of this is understanding what the right brands are for The Guesthouse,” she adds. We really want brands to have an amazing retail experience—our goal is for them to do well. And, because we have a good gauge of what people are interested in, we can really help with that.”
What’s one piece of advice would you give aspiring mom-preneurs?
“There’s so much!” says Heather. “But I’d say be prepared, but be flexible.” Their initial business idea, ultimately, evolved into The Guesthouse—and they wouldn’t have it any other way. “We set out thinking one thing and even though it has stayed true to our original thought it keeps evolving and taking on a life of its own!”
Following that lead while being true to their brand was essential. “Being able to stick to our core but also being flexible enough to shift and land here was huge,” Annie says.
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Feature Image: Sarah Winchester Photography
Additional Images: The Guesthouse