Brooklyn’s Greatest Vintage Store Also Supports Jewish Children With Serious Illnesses
From the skin, Life Boutique Thrift appears to be like similar to every other secondhand store in Brownstone Brooklyn. Take a step inside, nevertheless, and you’ll discover that this Park Slope store actually fairly totally different from the others. For starters, it’s the challenge of Hershy and Leah Mayer, an Orthodox Jewish couple from close by Borough Park. It’s additionally a charitable enterprise: all the profits go to Chai Lifeline, an organization that gives support services (together with a summer season camp) for Jewish kids with life-threatening illnesses.
“It all began when a buddy known as me and stated ‘I have 200 by no means-used vintage pocketbooks that have been left to me by my late mother. Are you able to discover a way to make use of them for tzedakah (charity) ’” Leah defined in her heat, comfortable voice. “At the time of this fateful phone call, my husband was not working because he had just sold his enterprise. We both had extra time on our fingers and started to extend our volunteer hours at Chai Lifeline. We have been questioning about learn how to get involved with the organization in an even bigger approach. And after we all of a sudden obtained the call from this good friend, it was like bam! Let’s use these pocketbooks to start out a vintage store that raises money for Chai Lifeline!”
Soon other priceless items, like Chanel dresses and Versace belts, began pouring in from philanthropists, associates, and personal acquaintances. In response to Leah, they experienced a stroke of ‘divine providence’ when a buddy offered to rent out a storefront in the notoriously costly neighborhood beneath market price. “We completely lucked out on that,” she stated with a wide grin.
Life is now a neighborhood fixture, beloved by artsy Pratt students, lengthy-time locals, and those who merely “get pumped by the sh*t within the thrift store,” to quote Macklemore. Named top-of-the-line outlets in Park Slope by TimeOut New York, a lot of their items are bought at a fraction of retail store costs (good day, $forty Salvatore Ferragamo heels!). Along with clothes and equipment, there are data from the 70s, loveseats from the 50s, typewriters for Hemingway-wannabes, smoking pipes, and dozens of other tchotchkes and curiosities.
Millennials and art students on shoestring-budgets aren’t the Mayers’ only prospects although. Their second location additional north in Park Slope curates more 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 more boutique, excessive-finish vibe (no knick-knacks, information, or furniture). Just lately, the Mayers opened a third shop in Fort Greene, offering a mix of thrift and boutique. Regardless of their differing aesthetics, all stores are extremely organized with colour-coordinated racks and pleasant, Yelp-authorized workers.
“I love that we’ve many Jewish shoppers,” Leah says as she waves hello to an everyday buyer walking through the door. “Many of them come to the store with a number of bags of donations after an enormous house cleaning. However then they leave the shop with a number of baggage of purchases too!”
Life is just about the proper place to remodel your self-indulgent consumerist impulses into eco-acutely aware, significant good deeds: decide up a few lovely 60s frocks to put on to synagogue for the Excessive Holidays (and do your Bubbe proud!); purchase your hosts a cool vintage lamp as a substitute of the usual bunch of flowers. And in the event you don’t need anything in any respect, make a donation salvatore ferragamo men watch to Chai Lifeline. ‘Tis the season for tzedakah.