How You Can Help
Even if you don’t shop, some store owners just want to see people in their stores again. Virginia Loughnan from the West Village’s Albertine Workshop was very moved by the support and concern that customers (regular and new) have shown. She was particularly touched by a loyal customer who came in the first day they were operational, looking to replace a locket she’d lost in the hurricane. Another customer who was meant to run the New York marathon brought friends from out of town to shop at Albertine instead. Shoppers should do what they can to support smaller and local businesses downtown, “Even if you don’t necessarily buy anything, it’s so great when customers just come in and check on us or offer encouragement.”
Hamlet Tallaj’s Hamlet’s Vintage was also closed from Saturday to Saturday because of a lack of power. He’s not dwelling on the financial setbacks caused by Sandy because, “It’s important to get up and get running again.” Ordinary New Yorkers can help small businesses in that regard by buying everything from their morning coffee to groceries to clothes from local businesses. “If we all do a little bit things will get better,” suggests Hamlet. He admits, “It might not be cheaper than a big retail chain but right now it’s not about getting the best deal it’s about restoring the character of NYC. It’s a diverse shopping destination with big and small retailers and if we all do our bit it will once again offer the shopping experience it always has.” Hamlet is considering donating a portion of this month’s sales to Disaster Relief.
Yoon Kim from Jussara Lee told us, “People are traumatized and insecure about spending,” she explains. “The solution is not to feel bad or afraid to buy something beautiful for yourself. You’ll be doing more than just helping yourself–you’ll start a chain of recovery from Sandy.”
A list of the boutiques mentioned, plus a few of our other favorites, and a link to their websites, is on the next page. Pretty much all of them are doing something to help hurricane victims and/or having a sale.