What’s in Store: Half-Way Crooks

When I first heard of Half-Way Crooks, the Newton Centre streetwear boutique helmed by a teen brother-sister duo, the concept sounded like a winner. Kids know what kids like—plus, everyone’s gaga for urban clothing these days. Still, I wondered if the execution would come off as amateurish.

A trip to the coolly unmarked, subterranean boutique instead proved that owner-buyers Julianne and Andrew Adams (a 15-year-old sophomore at the Winsor School and a 17-year-old junior at BB&N, respectively) take their jobs quite seriously. Everything from the (censored) hip-hop blaring from iPod speakers to the setup—resembling an adolescent’s closet more than a manicured Newbury Street shop—spoke to their efforts to debunk the myth that all suburban white kids look the same. Open after school Wednesday through Friday and on weekends, the shop packs in an impressive, carefully chosen selection of loud T-shirts, sweatshirts, and caps from brands like Freshjive, Mama, and Methods. Though the sibs weren’t working during my visit, their hoodie-clad friends pinch-hitting in their absence seemed psyched to have a customer in the otherwise empty store, chatting me up and encouraging me to try things on.

While Half-Way Crooks has a bit of growing to do (a mirror inside the dressing room would be nice, as would more-regular hours), so, after all, do its owners. The Adams kids say they’ll stick around New England for college to keep the store running. It’ll be interesting to see what a few more years under their low-slung belts will bring. 212 Sumner St., Newton Centre, 617-827-3863, half-waycrooks.com.