In June 2023, also Caribbean Heritage Month, Fe Noel opened its first store, Fe Noel Little Caribbean. Located in Brooklyn, New York, the boutique celebrates Caribbean artisanship, neighborhoods, and legacy. Inspired by her Grenadian roots, womenswear designer Fe Noel intentionally placed the new concept in the heart of Brooklyn’s historic Little Caribbean neighborhood.

The store will mostly sell deadstock inventory from its main Fe Noel business, doubling down on the brand’s growing sustainability efforts. Fe Noel Little Caribbean is also an example of the fashion house’s continued commitment to spotlighting Caribbean communities and creatives; artisans of all Caribbean backgrounds are being invited into the space to collaborate with Fe Noel and use the boutique as a place to gain inspiration and work on their crafts.

Over the years, the brand has found great success online via its e-commerce site and through its recent Target collaboration. EBONY chatted with Fe Noel about the new store opening and the next phase of its journey.

EBONY: You’ve been super successful in the e-commerce space, what brought about the decision to open a retail store?

Fe Noel: Exploring brick and mortar retail was always a part of the plan for Fe Noel. Our digital footprint has, in ways, been a catalyst for this, as it’s been a super successful avenue for getting in front of our target audience—and beyond! I believe in intention and alignment over everything, because I know finding success in this industry is a long game, and so when the opportunity presented itself to open Fe Noel Little Caribbean, my team and I did not hesitate. 

Image: Courtesy of Fe Noel.

Why did you pick this specific location?

The whole core of our brand is an ode to the Caribbean influence that has not only shaped me professionally and personally because of my own familial roots, but also has influenced wider culture. It would have been expected to open a boutique in more “typical” areas like Soho, but Little Caribbean is home. It’s minutes from where I grew up in Brooklyn, it’s a predominantly Caribbean neighborhood filled with folks who are committed to continuing to build a legacy that represents our respective countries, and it was essential to me to continue building my brand among the community that has fueled me throughout the past decade. 

How do you intend to draw in new customers within the neighborhood?

I think there is a two-fold answer to this question. A lot of the intention behind opening the store in this neighborhood was to ignite people who are based outside the neighborhood to immerse themselves in the local culture and take time out of their day to fuel the businesses that exist in the area. We are all a family, and so, when you stop by Fe Noel Little Caribbean, you might also be inspired to stop by Allan’s Bakery for traditional Caribbean baked goods, or the local jerk spot for some good eats. All in all, the goal was, again, to inspire discovery.

With that, the store will serve as not only a destination for sustainably crafted, one-of-a-kind Fe Noel products unavailable online but will also serve as a gateway for local and international brands across the Caribbean to sell their products. There will be something for everyone, spanning fashion, lifestyle and beauty, and we believe that will draw the locals to the neighborhood. Outside the retail component, Fe Noel Little Caribbean will operate as a community space for select activities, which will also open us up to the wide-ranging community in the area. 

Where else in the world do you see yourself opening your second location?

There are many places we’d like to open ourselves up to as far as brick-and-mortar goes across the country and beyond. We are still exploring what that location would be, but expansion is definitely in our plans.