WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THREE FASHIONISTAS OF VARYING STYLES AND EXPERIENCES JOIN FORCES? A NEW BAY RIDGE BOUTIQUE THAT’S ALREADY BECOME A NEIGHBORHOOD STAPLE
BY AMANDA McCOY • PHOTOS BY AMANDA DOMENECH
Bay Ridge native Mirella Peitz, co-owner of Mixx Boutique, had dreams of opening a retail fashion location for years, but knew she needed to do considerable homework first. It might have been fate, then, that she crossed paths with Aisha Abdullah and Emily Pagano at different points in her career, both fashion industry professionals who would eventually become her business partners. She met the latter while employed as a buyer at Lester’s Clothing retail chain in the early 2000s; Pagano was brought onboard as a merchandiser but eventually left to pursue a career in visual merchandising for Rachel Roy, among other brands. After a year as a buyer with another local chain, Peitz returned to Lester’s on a part time basis, confident by then that she had the insight and professional maturity to realize her dream.
The last piece fell into place when she met the woman who had taken over her former position: Abdullah. “I’ve been a buyer for 30 years, and knew the time had come to open a store,” recalled Peitz. “I had known Aisha for three years and Emily for fifteen. It started with Aisha, then we got Emily involved, and we all came back together to live this dream. We’ve been in the business forever; it’s all we’ve done. We all knew what we wanted, and were ready to make it happen.”
Although the budding entrepreneurs were eager to bring a collective vision to life, a quest to find the right location required patience, and caution. When a vacancy presented itself on Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue after a beloved 20-year-old toy store closed, the partners jumped at the chance.
“We badly wanted to be in an area like this,” added Pagano, who, like Peitz, grew up in the neighborhood. “This is where people go for brunch and dinner.…it’s the heart of the avenue.”
As luck would have it, the realtor offered them a fair price, and the partners spent months drafting a business plan. Mixx Boutique opened its doors on June 28th.
The owners strived to curate a diverse collection of apparel, accessories, and jewelry that would “speak to a wide range of women,” a “mixx,” Peitz laughed. Since the owners are from different decades and sporting distinct styles, it wasn’t difficult to appeal to the varying generations of women that visit, from college students to fashion-savvy grandmothers. Whether shopping for a first date, trendy rooftop party, corporate function, or a weekend in the Hamptons, the owners know where to point them.
“We have designer and trendy looks at great price points,” said Peitz. “And we don’t want to be labeled; we want to be a woman’s boutique for everybody,” quickly adding that the one constant is high quality.
“We’ve been doing this for so long, and are well aware of new merchandise and the newest trends. Our customers also know good merchandise, and are fashion-aware. They’ll spend on a sweater if it’s an amazing sweater. We have curated this place for those women, because we are those women.”
8722 3rd Avenue / 929.283.5454