A South Shore boutique specializes in youthful fashions for the whimsical, wicked and wild.
Text and photography by Kate Rogan of Ellie Finn Photography Model: Emma Sullivan
“Fashion,” says Mary Marathas, owner of Cattivo, “is a way of speaking without saying a word.” For the Chicago native, whose first job at 16 was working as an assistant buyer for a department store, fashion and clothing are her love language. The Scituate resident, along with her daughters Rachel and Sara, successfully launched their first “whimsical, wicked, and wild” clothing boutique in 2018 and now have retail locations in Scituate, Nantucket and Hingham’s Derby Street Shops.
Marathas, who studied fashion merchandizing in college, was inspired at a young age by her mother. The boutique owner explains, “My mother lived on a tight budget, but would go to the city to see beautiful clothing and then return home and she would make clothing for herself, me and my sister. She made everything from elaborate pant suits with rhinestone buttons to full-length crocheted dresses. You name it, she made it.”
Beginning her career by screen printing vintage images on children’s clothing, Marathas ultimately decided to stay home to raise her four children. When her youngest started college, the fashion bug beckoned again and Marathas decided to pursue her dream, opening a retail store in North Scituate.
Cattivo, which translates to “wicked” in Italian, is a family affair. Marathas’ oldest daughter, Rachel, dreamt up the name for the store when she was 16 years old and still in high school. The name is a nod to the family’s sense of humor and distinguishes the brand from typical New England fashion.
When the women decided to open their Scituate boutique, they chose pink decor (modeled after the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel) and stocked the racks with youthful, feminine looks for women and teens, with an emphasis on colors, patterns, ruffles and unique designs. It wasn’t long before Marathas’ daughter, Sara, decided to put her singing career on hold to be able to dedicate her time to the family business A year after opening the first store, her other daughter, Rachel, opened a second Cattivo location on Nantucket and the fashion obsessed Marathas family were off and running.
Cattivo boutiques are stocked with new inventory every day, offering endless choices, from floral dresses to fun jewelry and accessories. The stores also carry a signature scent in the form of custom room spray and candles, which they created after shoppers raved about the heavenly aroma coming from the diffusers throughout the stores. Marathas loves that her boutiques attract young buyers and says they are her favorite client to merchandise for because they’re enthusiastic shoppers who love trying on new things.
With the success of their Scituate and Nantucket locations, Marathas recently opened her newest location at Derby Street Shops in Hingham as well as a children’s boutique, Cattivo Bambino, in North Scituate, and a pop-up location in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. The family hopes to continue to expand the Cattivo brand to cities around the country.
For more whimsical women’s fashions as well as children’s clothing, shoppers can visit Cattivo at 92 - 98 Derby St., Hingham; 344 Gannett Road, Scituate; 20 Centre St., Nantucket, or shop online at shopcattivo.comshopcattivo.com.