Sell what you love, and you’ll see a steady stream of shoppers.
That’s pretty much how Dominique Maciejka of Smithtown has approached her two vintage clothing stores in Sayville and Huntington, each called Paper Doll Vintage Boutique.
But she qualifies her newfound motto.
“Well, it can’t be just what I love,” she said in a recent interview with greaterpatchogue.com. “It has to be things that sell, too.”
Good taste helps, because quite often what Maciejka loves also sells well. Maciejka’s shops have thrived since she took the leap into brick and mortar in Sayville in 2012, after years consigning to other vintage stores across the U.S. (Photo tour below.)
She opened in Huntington in April and just last week signed a lease for a third Paper Doll store (the full name hasn’t been decided yet), this time in the heart of Patchogue Village.
In Patchogue, Maciejka hopes to open a pop up-style Paper Doll shop in the front of her new store after Black Friday, then close in January for a makeover of the space that formerly housed Liberty Income Tax at 33 East Main Street, next to The Amazing Olive.
At 1,750 square feet, this will be her largest store, which she is looking to open for good in March.
The Sayville shop is 1,000 square feet and the one in Huntington Village is 700.
The new shop will be similar in concept to the other Paper Doll stores, with a mix of vintage clothes and new clothes designed to look vintage.
She’ll also be looking to ratchet up the amount of lower-price offerings, such as fun T-shirts, feather boas, sunglasses, toys and gag gifts, and other novelty items.
She’ll have a photo booth, host various theme classes and events, and will be staying open late — as late as 10 p.m. — to draw in customers from the bar and restaurant crowd.
“There’s so many young people [in the village],” said Kristin Shea of Stony Brook, who works in the Sayville shop and recently lived in Patchogue. “Here they can spill in and by things.”
Maciejka, who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, said she’s always “had a million jobs at once,” so running a third location doesn’t concern her.
And she’s very methodical; it actually took her about two years to settle on her first location.
Her first choice was actually Patchogue Village.
“I really liked Patchogue; it was the first town I looked at,” she said. “It was up-and-coming but it hadn’t quite up and came at that point, and the rent prices were similar to Sayville.”
It worked out.
“Now, we already have a reputation and a following, so that’s definitely going to help,” she said.