“It has a modern, rustic, chic Shadyside feel,” said Brunton, who opened the shop Nov. 12 at 209 E. Main St.
Onyx & Ivory offers a curated collection of women’s athletic wear, casual and career clothing and evening attire. A small selection of accessories and menswear also is available.
“The vibe is for the chic, modern working woman and for the stay-at-home mom who loves fashion and is still on her Zoom meetings,” Brunton said. “I also carry cocktail dresses for women who dress up and go to the functions at Rolling Rock or the fort.”
As the name implies, Brunton specializes in black and white pieces, along with cream and tan and a smattering of bright colors.
“I wanted to keep it simple, and I wanted a cohesive feel,” she said. “All the designers I use are USA-based, and a lot of them are from Los Angeles or New York. They’re not big names. They’re more people that are out there trying to make it and make names for themselves.”
Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Review
As the name suggests, the clothing at Onyx & Ivory Boutique in Ligonier tends toward black, white and neutrals.
Along with bringing something new to Ligonier, Brunton said, she wants to serve the people who walk through the doors and the community at large.
“I wanted my shop to be different and affordable,” she said. “I didn’t want women to walk into the boutique and say, ‘I can’t afford that, so I can only go there once a year.’
“This is not a profit-driven business for me,” she added. “For me, it’s more about helping the community. How can we support the local community and keep bringing people to Ligonier, help keep businesses open? There are not many places out there like this that are so special and so safe.”
Brunton lives in Ligonier Township with her husband, Lance Brunton, a hand surgery specialist with Excela Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and their five children, ages 9 to 13.
A former elementary and special education teacher, she said, “I’ve always had the design bug. I’ve always had a mix of fashion and design — you can see the whole picture, the outfits and the spaces. I had it and I figured I could do both.”
When her children were all in school and somewhat self-sufficient, she said, she earned a degree in interior design from the New York Institute of Art and Design.
While she still does some design work, she decided that operating a fashion boutique would work better with her children’s schedules.
“It’s a gamble, especially after covid and the variants and not knowing what’s going to happen. But I thought I’d try this,” Brunton said. “Women are tired of shopping online. People want to try things on.”
Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Review
Robin Brunton of Ligonier Township is the proprietor of Onyx & Ivory Boutique in Ligonier.
Brunton used her designer’s eye to renovate the shop space in the circa-1800s building, including custom woodwork, white paint with dark accents and contemporary lighting fixtures. Her next-door neighbor is C_Shoemaker Custom Clothier, which also opened in November and offers custom-made menswear.
“They’re complementary businesses,” Brunton said. “(Building owner Larry Breck) said it’s a match made in heaven.”
The workout wear has been especially popular with post-holiday customers.
“In January, everybody hits it hard, and women get motivated to exercise by wearing workout clothes,” she said. “Athleisure wear is so popular right now. You can wear it to work. Throw a pair of heels on, and you’re ready to go for the day.”
Clients have ranged in age from an 11-year-old who bought jeans to a quartet of “Golden Girls” types who went for matching coats.
“I’ve found that (the concept) is really working. People are very receptive to the prices and the lines that I’m carrying, the location and the hours,” Brunton said. “I’ve met some of the nicest people.”
Current hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., although hours may change occasionally according to her children’s needs, Brunton noted.