It’s not every day that two young women in their twenties open a storefront in the heart of Southampton, but with a great deal of tenacity, sisters Lisa and Cara Rooney have done just that. Located at 10a Jobs Lane, their new Girltauk boutique is part of Keogh + Girltauk, sharing a storefront space with Keogh, a clothing line designed by their new partner Erin McQuail. Cara Rooney recently shared what customers can expect from Southampton’s newest shopping destination.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Since I was a little girl, I always remember [my sister] Lisa working two to three jobs because she didn’t want to depend on anyone but herself. She graduated from Binghamton University and permanently moved to Montauk. I, on the other hand, didn’t have a job until I was about 17 years old. I played competitive soccer most of my life. All the hours and dedication paid off in the end, as I received an athletic scholarship to play Division 1 soccer at Fordham University, from which I graduated in 2013. After college I moved to California and worked as an account coordinator for News America Marketing, but quickly realized that lifestyle was not for me and, similarly to Lisa, that I yearned for something more.
How did the idea for Girltauk come about and when did you settle on opening a brick and mortar space? How did you settle on Southampton?
Being out in Montauk we didn’t always have access to an abundance of shopping options. So we came up with the idea to start an “at-home boutique” and invite all of our friends and local ladies over to enjoy some wine and treats and to provide the opportunity to buy affordable clothes while, quite literally, having girl talk. This is where our name came into being—“tauk” for Montauk!
It ended up being a success, so we ventured out to look for a storefront. Erin McQuail, who is now our partner and is the designer of Keogh, met Lisa a few years back. Years later, Erin started a store in Southampton, and when she heard about Girltauk she asked us if we would like to partner up with her and start a new venture.
You’re so young! What have been the biggest challenges preparing for the opening?
I think the fact that we are young is our driving force. We have the energy, attitude and tenacity to grab the bull by the horns and just go for it.
Each town and village has its own rules and regulations, which has been a learning experience. However, for a business like ours that is just starting off and doesn’t have the means of investors backing us, our budget has been our biggest challenge. Decorating and setting up has been the fun part!
There are so many brand-driven stores in Southampton. How are you setting yourself apart?
By being just the opposite of that. Keogh Collections is designed by our partner who creates these eclectic pieces. Lisa and I are buyers who hand select certain brands to represent Girltauk, clothes meant “for every girl.” Together, we appeal to the young adult who wants a beachy, bohemian vibe, and the mom who wants a sophisticated yet sexy dress, and all at a more reasonable price.
We know what it’s like to go into a store and feel overwhelmed with choices or bombarded by the commission-hungry sales clerk. When you come into our store we are welcoming you into our extended, fun-filled closet of beautiful statement pieces, must-haves go-to’s and some good old girl-tauk!
Girltauk is very “gypsy meets jet set.” We have affordable designs as well as a line of exclusive jewelry from local designer Tina Thor. Though Lisa and I look alike, stylistically we have always been very different. Lisa feels best wearing more daring, outspoken pieces with a pop of color while I prefer a more relaxed, conservative and comfortable outfit.
Girltauk + Keogh will have its grand opening at 10a Jobs Lane on Friday, May 1. For more information, follow @girltauk on Instagram.