With Cove, Rebecca Yanoff has created a travel-inspired oasis in the heart of SoCo.
Cove beckons with inviting lounge areas.
As a college student, Rebecca Yanoff loved living on vibrant and eclectic South Congress Avenue, but she missed the type of high-low shopping she grew up enjoying in New York, where she could easily find chic labels mixed with less expensive, trendy pieces. Now Yanoff is filling that SoCo niche herself by opening Cove boutique, an airy, breathable space filled with upscale casual lines, swimwear, accessories, and stylish gifts.
But Cove was several years in the making. After earning a liberal arts degree at UT and her master’s at St. Edward’s as well as taking time off to travel in Europe, Yanoff became a personal trainer at Castle Hill Fitness, where she developed important friendships. “You become close with your clients,” says Yanoff. “They pushed me to do more and knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.” As Yanoff began developing her business plan, one fitness client in particular became essential: real estate developer Peter Barlin, who partnered with her to build a new structure on an empty lot on her SoCo street of dreams.
Owner Rebecca Yanoff.
Cove’s modern, sleek two-story building, designed by Austin’s Un.box Studio, sits on the hot corner of Gibson Street and South Congress, a prime location for foot traffic. A lot of her regulars live in Travis Heights and Bouldin Creek (her store straddles both ’hoods), and she gets a stream of tourists from the neighboring boutique hotels. She actually started building her customer base six months before the building opened in January—weather had delayed construction, and with inventory to sell, Yanoff opened a pop-up shop at the church directly behind her new space. “The pop-up allowed me to work out the kinks, those mistakes you make in the beginning,” she recalls.
Although located in the SoCo hustle, the light-filled, elegantly appointed Cove was designed to feel like a relaxing retreat. “People always say ‘I feel like I’m on a vacation’ when they come in, which is what I wanted,” says Yanoff, who cites travel as a primary source of inspiration and avoids anything too austere to encourage a welcoming vibe. That philosophy also applies to the brands she carries, including Rebecca Taylor, Cynthia Vincent, Zimmermann, Antik Batik, and Tularosa: “The aesthetic is a little boho but very wearable. It’s what Austin women wear on a daily basis.” Yanoff envisions building out the second floor, adding more gifts, and opening a café—making the Cove experience a destination like Dallas’s Forty Five Ten. SoCo seems ready for it, she adds. “Once I saw the opportunity of this location, everything opened up.” 1318 S. Congress Ave., 737-484-0267