Like many of us moms, Gentel Larochelle was looking for a creative outlet during the early pandemic. In 2020, she started hand-lettering custom wood signs in her basement and selling them. They were a hit! From there she built a website for her business, named Smith & Saylor…a combination of her maiden name and dog’s name. The name has extra significance to her as both her parents were influential in helping her with her business. Her dad was a hobbyist woodworker and helped her figure out the tools to get her sign business started and her mom loved to sew, especially clothes, and this sparked her love of clothing from a young age. As the business grew she also added some ready-made items to her store.
She is a mom of two, Teddy (3) and Grace (8), so expanding her business to include kid’s items, made sense to Gentel. She also has a background in retail, having worked as a Visual Merchandiser and Assistant Manager at the Baby Gap for several years before kids, plus in accounting as a Corporate Controller after having Grace. It was always Gentel’s dream to open her own store.
In early 2022, Gentel met the owner of Celebration Enthusiast at a networking event. She had always admired her store, on Main Street in North Andover…where Gentel and her family live. While buying balloons for Valentine’s Day at the store, she told the owner, “If you ever move, I’d love to take over your space.” And a few weeks later that’s just what she did! Gentel got the keys to the space on March 1, 2022 and by April 1 she was open for business!
In the last two years, Smith & Saylor has evolved from a hand-lettered sign business to a gorgeous children’s boutique. They stock kid’s clothing, shoes and accessories for ages newborn to 8, along with craft kits, toys, birthday gifts and more. For back to school, check out their adorable backpacks that you can customize with fun letter patches. Tie-dye sweatshirts and denim jackets can also be customized. Spell out a name, nickname, or just use an initial!
Smith & Saylor also offers styling services. Stop by the store and let Gentel or one of her awesome store associates know your kids’ ages and sizes and they’ll coordinate a set of matching outfits for family photos or an event. Attending a baby shower? Let them know your budget and they’ll wrap up the perfect gift in a gift basket.
Opening the store was the result of a year of Gentel manifesting where the business would go, and she says it was really the right time for her and the right location. Her positive attitude and great eye for the most adorable products really sets Smith & Saylor apart, and she says she has many more ideas for the future!
During the summer, Smith & Saylor is open Wednesdays and Thursday from 10am to 6pm; Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 4 pm and Sundays from 10am to 2 pm. The store is located at 67 Main Street in North Andover and online at smithandsaylor.com. Follow along with Smith & Saylor on Instagram @smithandsaylor and on Facebook @smithandsaylor.