Julie Lilenfeld and Athena Hoffberger (daughter of AVAM director Rebecca Hoffberger) are rife with style and charm. One step into Wishbone Reserve in Mt. Washington and that becomes instantly clear. Vintage dresses and suits fill racks, old-school dressing tables overflow with knick-knacks, and one-of-a-kind furniture lines the walls. These items may seem ordinary, but each and every one was handpicked by the ladies themselves. That's where their style and charm come in handy. Need the perfect jewels to complete your look? Julie's got it. In the market for a pair of bar stools? Athena's on it. Just want to gab about the new One Direction album? Julie is all ears. Read on to learn more about the duo and their livelihood.
Describe your boutique in one sentence.
Athena Hoffberger: Always well made, often pre-loved.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Julie Lilienfeld: Time travel. I would go hang out with Frida Kahlo and have a drink with her. I’d let her vent to me about Diego. I'd go into her wardrobe and look at things and try them on.
AH: I would be able to speak every language absolutely perfectly. Imagine how much you can learn!
Who is your style inspiration?
AH: I’m going to be so cheesy saying this, but Ally McGraw in Love Story. And Stevie Knicks. Clair Huxtable, too. I want to have class and sass like her.
JL: This is so easy: Miss. Piggy. She’s my favorite. I also love me some Joan Rivers and Liz Taylor. They’re all women who decorate themselves with jewelry and love glitz.
What is your favorite item in your collection?
JL: There’s this great 1960s cocktail bracelet that has rock crystal tassels so when you wear it it pokes out of the trim of your sleeve. I like stuff that blends into the clothing like that.
AH: I love that Baroque chair that came in. I think it’s really charming.
What’s the most embarrassing trend you used to love?
AH: '90s eyebrows. I see pictures of myself and they were so painfully plucked that I’m just like, “Girl! Fill those in!”
JL: In college I was really into psychedelic tapestries. Some of my choices for wall coverings were a little questionable.
What is your guilty pleasure?
JL: The Bravo network. Any Real Housewife show. Oh, and One Direction. Specifically Harry Styles.
AH: Mindless TV and wine. Throw in a little chocolate, too.
How did you get the name for your boutique?
AH: Wishbone is always the name I had envisioned for a business. It’s representative of something that’s a great tradition and has been passed on from generation to generation. Reserve for us means that there’s a curated eye behind every choice and it’s not just a junk shop. We see something in everything we sell.
Do you have a go-to saying or motto?
AH: Add light, not heat. I try to apply that to everything.
No outfit is complete without . . .
JL: I wouldn’t leave home without my Georgian Gimmel ring. I bought this at auction. It’s European and from the early 1800s.
AH: Something personal, meaningful, or sentimental.
What are your current favorite and least favorite trends?
AH: I don’t like anything to be too perfect or matching. I think it’s unrealistic and not interesting. I like it when people play by their own rules.
JL: I love overalls, but a lot of other '90s fashion I’m not really feeling right now. With fashion, it’s always cyclical but it’s funny to see it back in action.
(1950's Party Dress $150; Picasso print $125; Flower Power chair $150)