By Dan Murphy
During the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll on Thursday evening, Black Ink was named the first-place winner in the 2017 Charles Street annual Storefront Decorating Contest.
The shop at 101 Charles St. specializing in greeting cards, stationary and unique gift items took top prize in the competition sponsored by the Joint Charles Street Committee of the Beacon Hill Civic Association and the Beacon Hill Business Association.
“We’re honored and thankful to all our lovely customers, the Joint Charles Street Committee and the shop’s owner, Susan Corcoran, for providing us with endless inspiration,” said Clara Reitz, manager of Black Ink, upon receiving the accolade.
Ouimillie placed second in the competition, which came as a complete shock to Millicent Cutler, owner of the shop at 133-135 Charles St. that deals in European fashion, jewelry and accessories.
“We had no idea there was even a contest,” Cutler said. “The street does look amazing, and everyone contributes so much to this effort.”
Third place went to Holiday – a women’s boutique at 53 Charles St., which also took home the same prize in the contest last year, as well as first-place two years in a row prior to that.
“It’s amazing, as always,” Damon Bassford, the boutique’s manager, said. “We love starting the holiday season off with a festive spirit and are always happy to be recognized for our efforts.”
Bassford added, “People stop by to admire our window and want to come into experience the wonder inside.”
Miguel Rosales served as the jury chair in this year’s contest, alongside judges Lucy Grogan, Ali Ringenburg and John Corey.
Corey describes the Storefront Decorating Contest as the “finishing-touch” that complements the Joint Charles Street committee’s continuous efforts, including the maintenance of tree guards and plantings, as well as street sweeping.
Ringenburg added, “We work from April until now getting ready for this. It’s the culmination when actually get to celebrate just how great this street is.”
Corey and Ringenburg both thanked Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Yissel Guerrero, the mayor’s liaison to the neighborhood, for their assistance in making the Holiday Stroll such a success.
“We couldn’t do it without the city’s partnership,” Corey said. “We were especially thankful that they sent out street sweepers hours beforehand.”
Corey added, “Charles Street looks immaculate.”