“My nephew is always saying, ‘Tati, you need to take a break.’ And I finally said, ‘Hmmm, that could be fun.’ But I’m not retiring. I don’t like the idea yet,” says Mathilde Spanyol. She will, however, be closing Mathilde’s Imports, her women’s wear shop on the second floor of Kerrytown’s Market Building, when the lease is up at the end of March, or earlier if the merchandise runs out.

Like Spanyol herself, the store’s wonderfully unique style was a blend of Old World elegance and New World cheekiness. Born in Morocco during World War II to a Hungarian father and French mother, she speaks those languages, as well as English and Spanish, fluently. She lived in Uruguay: “Oh, you must go. They have the most beautiful beaches. But no, we are not going to talk about me. I want to thank all the people who have worked for me–I’ve been blessed–and all of my regular customers.”