For the Freak Inside All of Us
The freak generation is certainly a nebulous term. Fick ellaborates, “We get all kinds of people in here, crazy people who wear vinyl and leather all the time, and then sort of 30-something business people who want something fun to wear on weekends.” Fick believes that Hootenanny’s edge comes from opening this niche of fun, racy clothing to a wider base of potential costumers. Unlike stores who cater exclusively to a goth or punk audience, Hootenanny brings rock, punk, goth and club apparel together in an atmosphere that is intriguing rather than intimidating.
But with Halloween approaching, more customers are flooding the Garage even though Hootenanny hasn’t been advertising specifically for either Halloween or its evil twin Devil’s Night. According to Fick, no special efforts have been made to advertise apart from displaying new accessories throughout the store. However, several ongoing advertising efforts focusing on Hootenanny’s freak fashion may be contributing to its popularity this season. Marketing has targeted those who would not ordinarily look to buying off-beat clothing, through the usual mediums of television and radio advertisements, along with flyers throughout Cambridge. To inform regulars, advertisements regularly run in newspapers with a cult following, such as The Noise and the Weekly Dig.
Will Hootenanny follow in the footsteps of its parent chain, Newbury Comics, drawing in crowds even after the Halloween fever has passed? The answer will come only with time, but for now Hootenanny remains the only store to beckon those scurrying around campus with the promise of red sweatshirts adorned with devil horns and pleasure overcoats that will keep their wearers warm as they stumble home during the wee hours of the morning.