Brooklyn’s Finest Vintage Retailer Also Helps Jewish Kids With Severe Illnesses
From the outside, Life Boutique Thrift appears identical to any other secondhand shop in Brownstone Brooklyn. Take a step inside, nevertheless, and you’ll uncover that this Park Slope store truly fairly completely different from the others. For starters, it’s the project of Hershy and Leah Mayer, an Orthodox Jewish couple from nearby Borough Park. It’s additionally a charitable enterprise: all of the income go to Chai Lifeline, a corporation that gives support services (including a summer camp) for Jewish children with life-threatening illnesses.
“It all started when a pal called me and mentioned ‘I have 200 by no means-used vintage pocketbooks that had been left to me by my late mom. Can you find a method to make use of them for tzedakah (charity) ’” Leah defined in her warm, tender voice. “At the time of this fateful telephone call, my husband was not working as a result of he had just offered his enterprise. We both had further time on our hands and started to extend our volunteer hours at Chai Lifeline. We have been wondering about easy methods to get entangled with the group in a much bigger way. And when we suddenly bought the call from this friend, it was like bam! Let’s use these pocketbooks to start a vintage store that raises cash for Chai Lifeline!”
Quickly other useful items, like Chanel dresses and Versace belts, began pouring in from philanthropists, buddies, and private acquaintances. In line with Leah, they skilled a stroke of ‘divine providence’ when a friend offered to rent out a storefront in the notoriously expensive neighborhood beneath market charge. “We completely lucked out on that,” she mentioned with a large grin.
Life is now a neighborhood fixture, beloved by artsy Pratt students, long-time locals, and those who merely “get pumped by the sh*t within the thrift store,” to quote Macklemore. Named among the best outlets in Park Slope by TimeOut New York, lots of their gadgets are offered at a fraction of retail store costs (whats up, $forty Salvatore Ferragamo heels!). Along with clothes and accessories, there are data from the 70s, loveseats from the 50s, typewriters for Hemingway-wannabes, smoking pipes, and dozens of different tchotchkes and curiosities.
Millennials and artwork students on shoestring-budgets aren’t the Mayers’ only clients although. Their second location further north in Park Slope curates extra upscale designer pieces—think Burberry, Valentino, YSL—as properly as merchandise from retailers like J.Crew and Banana Republic. This storefront is smaller and cozier, with a extra boutique, excessive-finish vibe (no knick-knacks, records, or furnishings). Lately, the Mayers opened a third store in Fort Greene, offering a mix of thrift and boutique. Regardless of their differing aesthetics, all shops are extremely organized with shade-coordinated racks and friendly, Yelp-authorized workers.
“I love that we have now many Jewish shoppers,” Leah says as she waves good day to a daily buyer strolling by way of the door. “Many of them come to the store with a number of luggage of donations after a big home cleaning. But then they go away the shop with a number of luggage of purchases too!”
Life is pretty much the right place to transform your self-indulgent consumerist impulses into eco-aware, meaningful good deeds: decide up a couple of lovely 60s frocks to put on to synagogue for the High Holidays (and do your Bubbe proud!); aa ferragamo shoes buy your hosts a cool vintage lamp as an alternative of the same old bunch of flowers. And in the event you don’t want anything in any respect, make a donation to Chai Lifeline. ‘Tis the season for tzedakah.