A Celebrity Stylist Opens a Bigger and Better Wellesley Fashion Hub

Style maven Gretta Monahan gives you a new reason to shop the ’burbs.

Marni raffia bucket hats, $435. / Photo by Leonard Greco / Styling by Madison Trapkin

Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts, wearing a skimpy cutout dress, walks into a Rodeo Drive shop and the salespeople rudely refuse to help her? Gretta Monahan has long used that as a teachable moment for her staff at Gretta Luxe. “Our customers should never feel like Julia Roberts’s character did in that scene,” Monahan says. “We can’t ever be judgy. Fashion can be prickly and cliquey—that’s not what we’re about.”

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Indeed, a visit to Gretta Luxe’s new Central Street storefront—across from its former location and now adjoined to Monahan’s salon, Grettacole Beauty, a Wellesley mainstay since 1995—is akin to hanging out in your friend’s living room. There’s even a plush velvet sectional to enhance the vibe. Of course, your friend probably doesn’t have frocks by Stella McCartney, Ulla Johnson, and Zimmermann; shoes by Chloé; Marni’s “it” bags of the season; and diamond jewelry by Sydney Evan to try and buy.

Holding down the fort while she’s working as a celebrity stylist and appearing on TV, Monahan’s Gretta Luxe team members are approachable fashion insiders who provide customers with a personalized experience. In fact, you can get so caught up in conversation here that it’s easy to lose track of time. And that’s always been Monahan’s intent. “To have a place where people can gather, where the shopping experience isn’t just transactional,” she says.

Dresses, skirts, and tops in a rainbow of colors beckon from racks around the store’s perimeter. / Photo by Leonard Greco

Despite the surge in online shopping during COVID, Monahan says she’s invested in enhancing the consumer experience at her brick-and-mortar locations even as others in the industry encouraged her to spend on the brand’s web components. “People are more conscious of how they are spending their time now; there are so many ways they can shop. I started thinking about how I could offer a more elevated customer experience that wasn’t just focused on shopping,” says Monahan, who decided to relocate Gretta Luxe to create a cohesive flow between the boutique and salon.

R13 metallic-gold jeans are among the numerous pairs you’ll find in Gretta Luxe’s denim bar, which made its debut in the new location. / Photo by Leonard Greco

Designed by Monahan’s husband, Ricky Paull Goldin, and featuring custom industrial elements and furniture from movie sets, the clean-lined space is three times bigger than its previous incarnation so it can host activations and seated gatherings—not just fashion-related events, though there will be plenty of those, but also panel discussions about health and science, book signings, and wine tastings. “For a long time, I have wanted one flagship hub,” she explains. Now she has it, and so, fortunately, do we.

First published in the print edition of the June 2024 issue with the headline, “Hats Off!”