The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

New Boutique Harper James Brings Style to Easthampton


Williston students, say goodbye to ordering your trendy clothes online because a brand-new store, near campus, has opened that has all the latest styles.

Harper James, located at 106 Cottage Street, sells women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry, candles, perfumes, scarves, hats and many more. It is owned by Kayla Diggins, and was opened February 1, 2024. The grand opening was March 2.

Items that specifically follow recent trends include the Flame Drop Earrings, Daring Dome Hoops, Sama Seagrass Tote, Isabella Set, Lacie Button Down, Mariner Sweater, Blonde Woven Bucket Hat, and the Juliet Linen Vest. All these pieces fit the clean and chic aesthetic. Clothing prices range from $20 to $200, while jewelry prices range from $40 to $200.

Diggins also did a collab with Manner Market, which included silk scarves and bandanas used to add some accessories to an outfit. These scarves come in black, dust and brown and are under $100. The quality of these scarves is exceptional, being 100% silk. This collab can be found online and in the Easthampton store.

Harper James started as a online clothing store and for now, only has one store in Easthampton. Diggins did pop up shops around Western Mass and had many people ask where they could shop in store for her items.

Diggins told the Willistonian the importance of being attentive to what customers suggest when it comes to business.

“Inspiration came from my customers, doing pop ups was good for getting my name out there and the customers really wanted a place to not only shop online but also in person so they could try on the clothes,” she said. “In business it’s important to listen and adapt to your customers’ suggestions, so I started to look into store fronts.”

It tends to be frustrating when someone orders clothes online and has to wait for their order to be processed and delivered. Some clothing brands take months to ship packages and by the time one gets their order, the season would change, and it wouldn’t be appropriate for the weather. Not to mention the extra money people spend on shipping.

Luckily, Harper James is less than a ten-minute walk from campus.

Soleil Richardson, a senior boarding student who has been at Williston for four years, is happy that a modern clothing store has finally opened near campus.

“It’s the only store that has new designs that are trendy,” she said. “A lot of the clothing stores in Easthampton are thrift stores, which is fine if that’s what you want to wear, but Harper James is offering new and fresh clothing options.”

Catie Spence, a senior from Amherst, Mass., thinks Harper James has brought a new and polished look that is rare in other stores in Easthampton.

“I liked it a lot because their clothes were cute and sophisticated and also very nice quality. Its different from other stores in Easthampton because its clothes are very current as opposed to all the vintage stores.”

Diggins hand picks each of her pieces and tries to stick to timeless and everyday pieces with some color.

“I definitely stick to neutrals with a few pops of color, we do trendy pieces but try to stick to the basics” she said. “I like to have modern pieces in hopes of transporting my customers out of Easthampton and into a luxurious place.”

Harper James is hosting many exciting events this upcoming spring. Among them is their “Garden Party” on May 2 at 5 p.m., where Brigit Ferry, a local lingerie designer, will showcase her pieces to celebrate femininity.

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