Friends providing high-end designer handbags, a shopping experience | News, Sports, Jobs


From left to right, Christine Peterson and BJ Buonaiuto are the owners of the new upscale retail store The Sophisticated Shoulder Experience, located at 306 W. Third St., Jamestown. The company specializes in designer handbags Coach, Doonery & Bourke, Kate Spade and Michael Kors. PJ photo by Dennis Phillips

Anyone looking for a high end designer handbag can find it online.

However, to find an upscale shopping experience while shopping for a new handbag, you have to visit downtown Jamestown.

The Sophisticated Shoulder Experience, located at 306 W. Third St., Jamestown, is the new venture offering more than designer handbags by Coach, Doonery & Bourke, Kate Spade and Michael Kors. Boutique owners BJ Buonaiuto and Christine Peterson also provide a unique shopping experience where a customer can receive cotton candy, hot chocolate or, depending on the mood, a glass of wine.

“We like to provide an experience for everyone” said Peterson.

Buonaiuto and Peterson, who have been friends for 20 years, opened The Sophisticated Shoulder Experience on October 1 to offer authentic designer handbags as well as a wide range of jewelry, candles, scarves, perfumes, artwork and more. literally anything in the store.

“We offer affordable luxury” said Buonaiuto.

The boutique offers private shopping events and charity fundraisers where designer handbags are handed out. So far, the two have raised $ 70,000 for local community nonprofit organizations like the Chautauqua County Human Society and the Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County.

Both said it was a great experience meeting so many new people since the store opened.

“The support has been phenomenal”, said Peterson.

Even during a difficult time around July 4, when the store was broken into, which delayed the store’s opening, the Sophisticated Shoulder community supported Buonaiuto and Peterson.

“Our (Facebook members) took it personally”, Peterson said the store was broken into.

Buonaiuto said it’s great being a part of the downtown shopping community along Third Street, which now has three stores – Dot’s Gift Boutique, ART Cloth + Craft and The Sophisticated Shoulder Experience – owned by women.

“We want Jamestown to be fun again” she said. “There are a lot of very good businesses downtown.

The company’s hours of operation can be found on its Facebook page at The Sophisticated Shoulder Experience. The store is currently open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 484-4014.

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