Window Shopping: Tigertree

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Niki Quinn regularly spends 10 hours a day in Tigertree, the Short North boutique she owns with her husband, Josh. She knows the store inside and out. But one question - does Tigertree carry any of the lines it did when it opened three years ago on nearby Brickel Street? - had her stumped.

Besides Maxine Dear - the book-cover-turned-belt-buckle line she and Josh started before they even dreamed of opening a store - she couldn't think of any.

"When we opened, we'd moved here from L.A., and we were sort of basing it on a young L.A. shop where 20-year-olds have daddy's credit card," Niki said. "And that doesn't necessarily happen here - which we like, but we had to change the store to accommodate grown-ups."

Instead, they've honed in on young adults who want to look professional without looking uptight, Niki said.

That means, for spring, lots of dresses that hit the knee or slightly above in pretty, textured fabrics; long, light cardigans; and soft screenprinted tees, many featuring animal designs.

Menswear, which takes up its fair share of the floor, includes fresh, solid-colored polos from Fred Perry, white shorts with colorful stripes and lots of three-pocket button-ups.

TOMS Shoes are a standby for men and women, and Ohio-themed products, like state-shaped silver pendants, are always a hit, Josh said.

The Quinns are excited about new roomy totes designed as tool bags by Heritage Leather Company but made in custom colors for Tigertree.

Another new highlight is the dressing room floor - it's been tiled with pennies, an idea conceived and executed by the couple. They began with the intention of tiling the entire floor, which would have required thousands of dollars in pennies alone. But that project's been put on a permanent pause since the completion of the 64-square-foot "test area," covered in $300 worth of pennies.

Instead, the Quinns have simply moved on to other ideas: branding their logo onto wooden hangers, building a register light. The couple's do-it-yourself enthusiasm - which extends to a home they're fixing up in Westgate - has given Tigertree a homey and fun aesthetic.

Although they're thankful for the support that's allowed them to grow, the pair can only do so much themselves - and they like being so hands-on.

"We're sort of at an impasse on how to move forward, because of how we operate, and whether or not that's sustainable in a market," Josh said.

"More realistically, I think we would just expand the store," Niki added. "I mean, we're starting to build displays higher because we have nowhere to go."


771 N. High St., Short North



Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday