This article appeared in the November 2011 Register-Guard business special section focused on the Coburg Road shopping area. These special sections don’t have author bylines.
Fashionable women who want to dress in a European style could schedule yearly shopping trips to New York or Italy.
But there’s no need.
The women behind Due Donne Women’s Boutique bring timeless and high-quality clothing right here to Eugene at the Coburg Station, a block north of Oakway Center on Coburg Road.
Christine Hayward-Mayhew and her daughter, Clarice Hayward, opened Due Donne, which means “Two Women” in Italian, five years ago. But Hayward-Mayhew’s fashion experience stretches back much farther.
“I grew up with a mother who sewed all of my clothes,” Hayward-Mayhew says, “so I understand fabrics and design quality.”
Twenty-seven years ago, Hayward-Mayhew was living in Europe and began exporting clothing to the United States under her own label, Grazie (“Thank you” in Italian). Her husband, Stan, played professional basketball at the time, and the couple lived in Italy, Spain, France and Israel from 1983 to 1991.
“Italy has some of the finest clothing in the world,” she says. “I sold to boutiques and trade shows along the West Coast. But the dollar to the lyra dropped, so clothes got more expensive.”
In the Northwest, Hayward-Mayhew found that people weren’t accustomed to spending that much on clothing, so her passion for fashion took a back seat to some of her other interests: Hayward-Mayhew works with a University of Oregon professor in the field of speech therapy, sells real estate, and has coached track for 20 years, currently at Marist.
In addition to all that, the couple have owned Eugene’s BMW dealer- ship since 2000. “We moved here from Seattle when we bought the dealership, and Eugene didn’t have much in the way of shopping,” Hayward-Mayhew says. “There weren’t many choices for nice clothing that were different than what you can get at the mall — something a little more upscale, a little more unique.”
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