Beacon Hill Boutique December Thieves Turns 10
One of Boston’s most beloved fashion-forward shops celebrates a milestone anniversary.
The first thing I notice when I walk into December Thieves isn’t the merchandise—it’s the boutique’s proprietor, Lana Barakat. A vision in a white Victorian-style collared shirt by Rundholz paired with a flowy black skirt/pants combo from Yeung Chin, Barakat is the embodiment of the December Thieves brand. Which is to say original, eclectic, and full of beautifully crafted details.
It’s an aesthetic that Bostonians clearly appreciate: The fashion boutique marks its 10-year anniversary this month with plenty to celebrate, having expanded to a sister store, Thieves Next Door, that offers handmade vases, jewelry, and one-of-a-kind gifts. But for Barakat, the road to owning one of Boston’s most beloved boutiques was a circuitous one.
Barakat’s upbringing in Jordan was a feast for the senses, filled with colorful markets and intricate mosaics. These early influences laid the foundation for her appreciation of art and design. “Art and exploration were embedded in the fabric of my upbringing,” Barakat recalls. She originally channeled her keen eye for detail into a global marketing career, but the corporate world couldn’t contain her creative spirit.
After years in the advertising sector, Barakat felt creatively stifled. This led her to a jewelry-making hobby that eventually turned into a full-fledged business. Her first retail venture, Lazuli on Newbury Street, showcased not just her own pieces but also the work of artisans she’d met on her travels. From there, she moved to the South End to open the first iteration of December Thieves. The store’s name, she tells me, was inspired by a Rumi poem about stealing December to change seasons and rejuvenate life: “It symbolizes continuous evolution and rediscovery.”
After one year in the South End, Barakat made the decision to move to Beacon Hill, where she’s been serving the area’s style mavens ever since. As the company grows, its commitment to supporting small-batch brands and unique artisans remains steadfast. She’s the exclusive Boston carrier of most of the designers she curates, such as the coveted Barbara Bologna, Oropendola, and Christian Restrepo—a MassArt grad with a flair for the dramatic (see: the gold jacket above). As for the future, Barakat is considering expanding to other cities and even has plans for an exclusive in-house line.
But the most important thing to her is and has always been her customers. “Hearing how a styled outfit made someone feel confident or how a curated gift touched someone in a special way—these are the things that stand out most,” she says.
December Thieves, 51 Charles St., Boston, 857-239-9149; Thieves Next Door, 53 Charles St., Boston 857-250-4161, decemberthieves.com
THINGS WE LOVE FROM DECEMBER THIEVES
1. MDK leather medium cage bag, $360.
2. Elaine Ho sterling-silver-and-golden-rutile-quartz necklace, $250.
3. Stora Skuggan “Azalai” perfume, $168.
First published in the print edition of the October 2023 issue with the headline, “Pick of the Glitter.”