One fateful day I stumbled into Paper Doll Vintage Boutique, located at 23 N Main St. Sayville, NY. As soon as I walked in I knew this was a place harboring a lot of care and creativity. I sat down with the owner, Dominique Maciejka, to ask her a few questions about her charming shop.What do you look for in a vintage piece?
When I’m shopping the first thing I look for are textures and colors. I scan really fast and some things will just pop to me. I have an eye for quality fabrics, so that’s what I pull out first. Then I inspect it for any sort of damage and to see if it has any particularly cool details. I also see if it's a style that’s come back around again or if it’s something that should stay dead and buried! I look for brand names and I have strict criteria; I don’t want to be a thrift shop. I pay for all my items, so I want them to be good.Do you ever buy things that are not in style right now, but are things you want to come back in to style?
I think almost everything is in style. The only things that I stay away from are massive shoulder pads and Bill Cosby sweaters. I have been buying more peplum items because that is a current trend, and floral maxi-dresses which were part of like a grunge-revival. Overall, I tend to gravitate more towards classic styles that never go out, so even if it’s something that’s not “all the rage now”, it’ll come in. I have this one dress that had beads on the shoulders, and looked kind of eighties for a while, but then Lady Gaga wore something similar and it became cool again. I don’t usually shop with anticipation of something coming back.
Do you have a favorite piece in the store right now?I guess the 1950’s Ceil Chapman dress. I like the Yves Saint Laurent cape. Our historic garments are the nicest designer pieces in the shop right now. My favorites always change because things come and go so often!
My demographic ranges anywhere from fifteen to seventy. I have customers of all ages. All the people who shop here are looking for something different, and have an appreciation for classic styles and good fabric. I have developed a clientele who shop regularly, which is great because than I can help them find what they are looking for more easily.
We’ve had a great turn out with our once a month Burlesque classes that we’ve been doing since August. Starting in January we’re going to be having a six session series where they are going to be every Monday night from January seventh through February eleventh, right in time for Valentines day. In these classes you develop a character, develop a routine, and expand from the basics which were offered in the previous classes. In addition to the Burlesque classes we did belly dancing, we’ve done craft classes, and my friend Liz has her own line of cosmetics here and she’s done a bunch of makeup classes based around the different decades. We also had a fashion show here for our six month anniversary where we had eight different models showing two different styles from every decade between the twenties and the nineties. It was great! The belly dancing teacher did a dance at the end, we had raffles and prizes, and we had a prize for the best vintage outfit.
Why did you decide you wanted to open a vintage shop?
Owning a vintage shop was always something I did on the side, and then my side job just kind of became my main job. I had this huge collection in my house and I started acquiring all this furniture and store fixtures in my house and at some point my boyfriend wanted all the stuff out! (laughs)
What’s your favorite thing about owning Paper Doll Vintage?
Definitely seeing all the treasures. I never know what I’m going to get next! I also love working with my friends. I have my friend who has her cosmetics line here and I have a couple of friends that work here- so it’s a pretty social job! I love not being stuck behind a desk all day, and I get to interact with and dress my clients. I love giving make overs. It’s a dream job.
Thank you so much to Dominique Maciejka for taking the time to talk, and make sure to pay a visit to Paper Doll Vintage!