The Village Boutique saw an opportunity a few storefronts away and decided to move in.
The former Thomas Kinkade art gallery located at 128 Main Street in the village has stayed vacant for more than 13 months, said Abby Buller, The Village Boutique’s owner.
So she talked to her landlord — who owns her former spot at 216A Main as well as the Kinkade space — and decided to move down the street.
“I think the location is a little bit better and because of the way this store is configured, it allowed me to expand more into shoes and accessories the other store didn’t allow me to do,” Buller said.
And the new store is a better fit.
Since originally opening up in May 2019, Buller said her store carries a variety of women’s apparel for ages 16 and up. The new, much larger, space allowed her to begin selling footwear and more accessories.
“I’ve always wanted to have shoes in my store, but the back storage area was just too small,” she said. “This gave me two storage areas, and the space to display shoes of the other store didn’t have — so the configuration is what’s different.”
Buller said after things opened back up, she wanted to use the opportunity and start fresh. In January, she and her landlord came to an agreement, closing down her former location on Feb. 23.
It took her and her business partner about two weeks to move everything over, steam it all, barcode it and of course do some construction and cleaning up. The new Village Boutique opened on March 15.
“I’m getting people into the store who said, ‘Are you new?’ and when I said no, they would say they never saw me up the block,” she said. “So, I think the new location will pay itself off in the end.”
The Village Boutique, Buller said, is the type of place where a shopper won’t have to step foot inside a big-box store, or shop online, ever again. She personally shops for her inventory in the city and brings in designers from all over the world.
“If I can’t touch the clothes, I can’t buy them,” she said. “Because we first look for style, then when we look with touch. If you don’t like the way it feels, you’re not going to buy something.”
She also said she has a price point for everyone’s budget.
“We have a little bit of Manhattan in Suffolk County,” she said.
Buller said the last couple of years she has grown her shop in the village has even led her to now make the jump to move out here, herself.
Born and raised in Queens, since 2019 she has been commuting the almost two-hour drive to Port Jeff every day.
She said she just sold her place in Bayside, and is looking to find a new place in the Port Jefferson, Rocky Point or Mount Sinai areas to call home.
“I remember being a child and a day trip for us would be coming out to Port Jeff,” she said. “So, when I decided to own a business, my concept was that I didn’t want to be in a strip mall. I wanted to be in a town. And I had such fond memories of this village so I took the jump.”
The Village Boutique is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday’s.