Monday, December 30, 2013


Join us in offering congratulations to our own Maria Luisa Whittingham, who later this month will be honored with the Social Justice Award. Presented by Nyack College, the award (one of several to be given out during a Jan. 17 luncheon at the Nyack Seaport) honors her for her activism. Maria, as we know, is all about community, which is evidenced by her work on the boards of local organizations ranging from The Nyack Center to the Art, Craft and Antique Dealers Association to the NAACP. An active chamber member, she is a devoted champion of shopping local, building the Nyack community - and causes ranging from the work of People To People to the Nyack Homeless Project, as well as the arts. Well done!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Cyber Monday, that day dedicated to online holiday shopping, is officially Dec. 2 - but we are getting a jump on things. From Thanksgiving through Monday, we're making your holiday shopping easier than ever - and helping you save a bit of money along the way. Gift certificates, which can be purchased through our site, will be discounted 15%. That means a $100 gift certificate, for example, will only cost you $85. Stock up and let those you love have the fun of shopping at Maria Luisa Boutique or ML by Maria Luisa. You tell us the amount and the recipient, and we'll take care of the rest. (And go ahead, buy a few for yourself - click away from home and then come in and do your own shopping - holiday or otherwise - in person when you have the time. Clever, no?).
We kick things off this month with our special shopping event to benefit The Nyack Center. This "Evening of Giving and Receiving" will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4. Entry is by a $20 tax-deductible donation to the center (free for Nyack Center Legacy Gala attendees). Participants can shop, sip wine, savor hors d'oeuvres (food generously donated by The Art Cafe) and further enjoy 10% off their purchases (with an additional 10% donated by Maria Luisa to The Nyack Center). And don't forget, it's the perfect time to start or add to your Maria Luisa holiday wish list. Hope to see you there. (And note during the event, ML by Maria Luisa will be open to 7:30 p.m. and Maria Luisa Boutique until 9).
The "First Friday" series has really become a Nyack favorite, with a special spirit filling the air that first Friday of every month as stores stay open later and art-themed events fill the downtown. This month, expect our biggest event yet, as the "Holiday Lights of Nyack" event will be happening simultaneously. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Veterans Park Gazebo (at Main and Cedar streets), there will be caroling, children's activities and yes, the annual tree lighting. Be sure to make Maria Luisa part of your evening, too, as we will be hosting the opening of Part II of our exhibition featuring those profiled in the Local Arts Index. We sponsor the column on Nyack News & Views - and hope you enjoy it. Back in October, we had our first group show and it was quite the success. We hope Dec. 6 - from 5 to 8 p.m. in the lower-level gallery space of ML by Maria Luisa (Gifts & Accessories) - will be just as lovely an event. See you there.
Here are 10 ways to maximize your shopping dollars this holiday weekend. 1.Make a list of all who will LOVE and APPRECIATE receiving a Maria Luisa Gift Card. GCards are available from $25 and up. 2.Do the math, and calculate how MUCH you will SAVE by ordering Maria Luisa Gift Cards online between NOW and Dec 2. 3.Now, place your Maria Luisa Gift Cards order. 4.Take advantage of our 15% discount offer and purchase addidional Maria Luisa Gift Card for YOU to use towards your holiday shopping this season. 5.Browse through other items below that are also available for purchase at Maria Luisa and or and you'll save 15% on your purchase of these now through Dec. 2. 6.Go ahead and share this savings opportunity with your friends and family, you never know, there may be a surprise gift card or two coming you way as a result of your share. 7.And there is FREE SHIPPING storewide at marialuisaboutique now for total purchases of $100.00. Use Code FREESHIP. 8.Come into Maria Luisa and ML by Maria Luisa, leave your WishList for all the items you would love to receive from our shops AND save 10% on your purchase - Here are the details. 9.Register your American Express card for Small Business Saturday-DETAILS... 10.Saturday November 30, shop your local small businesses.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It’s about the need and the giving

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nov. 25, 2013 Nyack, NY EMBRACING THE SPIRIT OF SEASON People to People, Rockland’s largest food pantry, put out the call – turkeys were needed to help the nonprofit meet the local need this Thanksgiving – and veteran Nyack merchant Maria Luisa Whittingham was one of those who answered. Whittingham, whose Maria Luisa Boutique and sister shop ML by Maria Luisa are staples of Nyack’s South Broadway shopping district, was on hand at the Nanuet offices Nov. 25 to donate funds to supply turkeys to 25 needy families.
“This is all happening because of Diane Serratore’s love and passion for the community she serves,” Whittingham said. Whittingham, who has been honored by the Rockland Business Women’s Network as its Woman of the Year, said she felt she needed to step up.
“It’s about the need and the giving,” she said. Whittingham and her shops have long supported charitable efforts in the village, with her customers joining her lead by attending events such as those that support local organizations such as The Nyack Center. This season, Whittingham has already been gathering food donations for People to People while also collecting coats for the Nyack Homeless Project. These efforts will continue in coming weeks, with Whittingham introducing a new philanthropic effort that will offer her customers creative new ways to help local nonprofit organizations as they shop. Details of the new initiative will be revealed in early 2014.
For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact Whittingham at 845-353-4122. Maria Luisa Boutique, 77 S. Broadway, Nyack 845-353-4122 ML by Maria Luisa, 75 S. Broadway, Nyack 845-358-1293 FB Maria Luisa Boutique

Saturday, November 2, 2013

How did it already become November?

How did it already become November? Wow, the year continues to push on. And this month, the holiday season gets under way in a most unique fashion. For the first time in a very long time, as we're sure you've been hearing, Hanukkah will begin on Thanksgiving. Talk about a lot to prepare for! Well, we know you'll all be looking forward to gatherings filled with family, friends and good food and drink. And often, those gatherings include gifts (which, we admit, we kinda love). As you've hopefully seen, Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa (Gifts & Accessories) are the ideal, go-to destinations when it comes to shopping for gifts. It might be a scarf or pair of earrings for a relative you'll be seeing after a long time, or a sweet treat for your sister. Maybe you need a hostess gift or a few things for your own home? We've got it covered. And, of course, don't forget our selection of fashion, footwear and all kinds of accessories - wonderfully thoughtful gifts but also great selections for your own holiday dressing needs. We know how busy the holiday season invariably becomes. We've got plenty going on in the shops - read on, both below and in the sidebar, for news and activities we have coming up. We look forward to welcoming you - and helping you select just the right thing, whether it's for yourself, your home or as a special gift. But we do also hope you'll 'book in' some time to simply savor this time of year. Treat yourself to some quiet time - and realize how much we all do have to be thankful for.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Maria Luisa and ML by Maria Luisa (Gifts & Accessories) will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. But the holiday-shopping season kicks into high gear the day after - that day so many refer to as "Black Friday" - when we officially kick off our holiday hours - open daily through Christmas Eve. Check the blog for extended hours, etc. throughout the season.


Maria Luisa has traditionally offered "Wish List" shopping each holiday season. In brief, you come in and create a "wish list" of items you'd sure like to receive as gifts. We keep track of that list, so when your family or friends come by, they can take a look at it - and buy you something they're sure you'll like.
Well, this year, here is how our "Wish List" works. Come into the stores and fill out a Wish List. This will provide your friends, family, coworkers, etc. with a range of gift items to choose from that they know you will love. Holiday shopping will be made easy and thoughtful, and you will be supporting your community and local independent business. You in turn will receive a 10% discount off each item you purchase on the given day, up to the number of items on your Wish List. Example, you add 6 items on your wish list today. You purchase 6 other items today and we will take 10% off each item up to the number of items on your wish list. Additionally, when an item that is on your wish list, the purchaser will receive a 10% discount on those items! There is is one condition, and that is that the items must be purchased by December 17th to receive the purchasing discount. So, start now and spread the great news. For our Trollbead friends we are offering special incentives and bonuses for your holiday purchases. This is also a perfect time to update your Trollbead wish list for the holidays! So, we look forward to seeing you soon and often. Cheers! Maria Luisa
**** Hey Trollbead folks! We are compiling a photo album of Trollbead stories and photos, and would love to include your treasures in it! So bring them in and let us snap a shot!


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we'd like to take a moment to share the details of a special project with you. At Maria Luisa, we like to think we are a family - and that extends to not only our customers but the community as a whole.
In that spirit, we are creating four very special display windows. These will not only be brimming with beautiful gifts, clothing, accessories and home goods for our customers to purchase and share with their loved ones - but also an underlying message. We will be basing these window displays on canned and packaged foods that will be, at first, used as props.
Maria and her staff will be donating their favorite foods to start the windows. We hope you will join our extended Thanksgiving family and bring in any canned or packaged food that you can spare to help us create the most beautiful and bountiful windows that in turn will help our brothers and sisters in need. Every new item will be incorporated into the window as it arrives – and as a thank you, we will give you 10 percent off any single item you then purchase. So come in and watch the bounty grow - and know that we will be sharing those donated goods with People to People, who will ensure they are passed along to those who can use a hand during this season of abundance and sharing.

Happy Birthday to YOU.

So, when's your birthday? We're not being nosy. We have a reason for asking.
It's because our new Mac-based sales system allows us to now easily keep track of our preferred customers' birthdays. So won't you share the date with us when you're in next? That way when your special day arrives, we will welcome you on your actual birthday and offer you a 10% saving off your entire purchase. If you can't come on the day itself, we'll send you a personal greeting and $5.00 via email to spend in MLB or ML (valid for 2 weeks from your birthday). Enjoy!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

We are Loving First Fridays in Nyack

Hello there. Don't forget that "First Friday" is just around the corner. We are just loving the art-themed evenings that bring so many people out on the first Friday of each month.
For Nov. 1, we'll be featuring an opening reception for our next exhibition. Artist Cynthia Shaw, whom you may remember from her participation in our boutique during ArtWalk, will be featured during November. Shaw, who is a founding member of the Nyack Art Collective, is a mixed-media artist. Make a plan to stop by and meet her, see the show and join us for the usual mix of refreshments, good fun and great conversation from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 1.


Of course, Nyack is always buzzing when it's time for the famed Halloween parade, which will step off and fill the downtown streets starting at 5 p.m. If you've been before, you know it's a major happening; if not, plan to come to the event that will surely surprise you with its creativity and scope.
Did I mention the participating captivating high school marching bands? Yeah, you don't want to miss it.
And at Maria Luisa, the celebrating will be all day Saturday - but for us, it's "ONLY TREATS, NO TRICKS" - !! Stop by during all hours between 10:00am and 5:00pm Saturday when we are offering 20% off any one item priced at $25 or more. That's right - 20%. It's a great opportunity to get that item of clothing, jewelry or furniture/home accessory you've been coveting. Just say "Treat or Treat" while smiling for your discount TREAT.
And since we like to extend the celebrating, we will also offer the same deal - 20% off any one item priced at $25 or more - all day on Halloween itself. Stop in - and remember, we always have treats on hand for the little "trick-or-treaters" on Halloween day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The lower-level gallery of ML by Maria Luisa has hosted a number of arts-related events over the past couple of years. There have been nights filled with music, others with spoken word. And many have been devoted to the visual arts. Some presented works of simple beauty, others pieces that truly made you think. We’ve enjoyed it all, especially the opening receptions that gather the most interesting people who come together to chat, sip a glass of wine and simply appreciate the wealth of talent in our own backyard. Combine the best of those previous events with the enthusiasm of Nyack’s growing “First Friday” series and that gives you a hint of what a lovely – and lively – event we hosted Oct. 4 as our latest edition of the monthly themed nights. You may already know – and enjoy – Maria’s sponsorship of the Local Arts Index, a regular feature on the Nyack News & Views site.
Well, this new exhibition put the spotlight on the first 11 local artists profiled in the feature, each contributing a work to this one-of-a-kind group show. We were thrilled to showcase paintings and photographs, sculptures and mixed-media work, even a musical effort.
The diverse talents led to the most eclectic of evenings, as people wandered in and out, meeting the artists and plenty of old (and new) friends. The show’s broad range put the spotlight on artists you may know (a number have shown with Maria before) and others whose work might be new to you. No matter, there was no denying the creativity on display – and we thank Bill Batson of Nyack News & Views for his invaluable partnership and own talent.
Thank you to the participating artists who include Janice Baragwanath, Anita Brown, Peter Cheney, Trine Giaever, Shawna Handke, Ed Kirkland, Ann Oppenheim, Laurie Peek, Lauren Rudolph, Elaine Schloss and Dan White and of course, we thank Suzanne O’Brian, Maria Luisa’s events coordinator/ display manager and Kris Burns for a flawless event. If you missed the opening, be sure to stop by as the exhibition continues through Oct. 27 at ML by Maria Luisa (Gifts & Accessories), 75 S. Broadway, Nyack. And don’t forget to mark your calendars, as Part II, a companion exhibition, is already being planned for December. – Mary Shustack, Maria Luisa newsletter editor

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's Hard to say Good-Bye

Our beloved team member Denise Sharpe will soon be leaving the Northeast to start the next chapter of her life, relocating to Texas. Of course, we wish her all good things in her new adventure, but we can't help but feel a bit wistful. Denise has brought something very special to Maria Luisa, both in the boutique and at ML by Maria Luisa, in her years here. You know her for her personal style. You know her for her honesty. You know her for her compassion and good ear. You know her for her always suggesting the perfect item for you to try on - or the ideal gift when you're shopping for someone special. Most of all, you know her for that infectious laugh and her wonderful spirit. It's no surprise that Denise herself wanted to share a few words with you, our preferred customers, herself, which we are proud to pass along: ***
A HEARTFELT THANK YOU & GOOD-BYE Well, the time has come to say good-bye to everyone that has made me smile during my time here. Maria Luisa is more than just a workplace, it is a family, and it is "YOU" the customers that give it soul. I've become friendly with so many of you, and I truly appreciate the love and respect you've shown, while trusting me to find the best selections with you. It has been a pleasure to work here, but more than that, it has been a privilege to have met and mixed with such nice people.
There have been great teammates that have made the job truly enjoyable, too. It's not often that you look forward to going to work, but I got to spend time with a group of friends. I'm proud to have been a player on this team. Lastly, I want to send a special thank you to Maria for the opportunity and tremendous support she's always shown. I've learned so much and certainly from the BEST.
My path is taking me to Austin, for warm weather and new beginnings. I'm not sure what the future will bring, but I know it will involve lots of fond memories. If anyone would like to stay in touch, finds themselves traveling to Austin or would like to contact me, my email is: Love & hugs, Denise" *** We know you join us in wishing Denise the very best. Stop by, if you can, to wish her well in person before her Maria Luisa career wraps up Sept. 28. ML

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Magical Evening of Storytelling

The back garden of ML Gifts & Accessories was transformed into an intimate club of sorts on the evening of July 31 as we hosted “There’s Magic in the Art of Storytelling.” It was yet another of our special events designed to offer both something unique for our customers and something to foster a sense of community. And we think those in attendance – and we thank the several dozen who joined us – would agree it was quite a success. Maria Luisa Whittingham met writer Jayme Rudolph Cooper when ML Gifts hosted an exhibition of the stunning portrait work created Jayme’s sister Lauren Rudolph (her work, in prints and cards, continues to be on sale at ML Gifts). Maria and Jayme got to talking, an evening was suggested and as Maria said “We set a date, finally, then Jayme ran with it.” It was, in Maria’s eyes, another way to tap into the wealth of local talent. “We have such a wonderful artistic community,” she said. And Jayme surely helped turn the spotlight on that talent. In the outdoor space so artfully styled by Kris Burns (you’ve probably seen her work in Maria’s windows), the evening got under way with more than a few laughs as Michelle Churchill, author of “Flashes: Adventures in Dating through Menopause,” shared a bit of her background. She then read us a chapter on a date that included a former athlete, candy kisses and a gift set of Lady Stetson perfume. (You have to hear it to believe it!) The evening’s well-paced variety continued with Jayme then sharing a few selections of her own work that touched on universal themes of love and family. Emmy Laybourne took us along on a fast-paced glimpse into her latest thriller, “Monument 14: Sky on Fire.” Amy Clarke then shared a chapter of a nonfiction book. While it’s designed to teach children how to find their passion, it also tapped into something everyone can remember: “Keep going and don’t stop until you have the life that you want.”
The evening’s diversity was continued with the remainder of the lineup. Anupama Amaran shared poems that took us from horseriding in Vermont to a stroll down the evening streets of Slovenia. Kim Purcell, author of “Trafficked,” shared the drama of a new immigrant standing in line at customs; and Diana Wilkins capped the evening with poetry that in its truth and beauty transcended its personal nature. It simply resonated, as did the whole event. As Maria said, “Everyone deserves an audience to hear their stories. Jayme, in her opening remarks, had also touched on the power of the women and their words. “That’s really what it comes down to in life, sharing our stories.” And on a mid-summer evening at ML Gifts, that sharing proved something magical indeed. ~ Mary Shustack Editor, Maria Luisa Newsletter

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Night of Storytelling and shopping for a cause

Wednesday July 31, 2013 6:00-9:00pm Come join us at Maria Luisa Boutique on Wednesday July 31st for a Night of Storytelling and giving. The night begins with some after-hours shopping, with 10% of the evening’s proceeds to benefit children’s literacy. We will be serving light refreshments and wine for your pleasure, come peruse our beautiful merchandise, meet our friends long-standing customers, and enjoy yourself on a beautiful summer evening. The more we sell the more we donate to children’s literacy—so buy that dress you have been pining for, or get some new work or vacation clothes; just treat yourself to something gorgeous! “Live your life from your heart, and your story will heal other peoples souls.” Melody Beattie We will begin storytelling at 7:00. Our intention in hosting this beautiful evening is to gather together to ignite that spark in one another and honor the transformational act of storytelling. To experience that magic however, someone has to stand up and speak—to offer up a piece of themselves, to tell their story. And that’s just what we will be doing at Maria Luisa Boutique this Wednesday, July 31st. We hope you will join us for this lovely evening. Maria We are also asking for donations of your favorite gently used books that will be given to the local community center. 75 -77 South Broadway, Nyack NY 10960 845-353-4122

Thursday, July 18, 2013

There's magic in the act of storytelling.

Forget about slowing down for summer. Things have really been heating up at Maria Luisa Boutique and ML Gifts with exhibitions, sales and all kinds of special events. Next up is a special evening devoted to storytelling. We're really looking forward to it, so mark your calendar for 7 p.m. July 31. Here are the details, as provided by event organizer Jayme Cooper, who shares that published novelists Emmy Laybourne and Kim Purcell will be among the participants: "Live your life from your heart, share from your heart, and your story will heal other people's souls." -Melody Beattie
Magic, in the sense that it transforms right on the spot. A plot, a concept, sometimes even a word spoken out into the atmosphere has the power to reach down deep into our souls and ignite that often elusive spark that lives in all of us. To experience that magic, however, someone has to stand up and speak-to offer up a piece of themselves, to tell their story. And, on July 31st at 7 pm at ML Gifts & Accessories, a group of women will do just that. In the spirit of living and sharing from the heart, we offer a night filled with what we know will be magic. The intention for this beautiful evening is that we gather under the balmy, star-filled summer sky to ignite that spark in one another and honor the transformational act of storytelling." We're really looking forward to the artistry that this event will surely spotlight. And when you come, be sure to catch the closing days of our current exhibition, a series of collaborative art works inspired by the life of Frederick Douglass. The work, which teamed up students from the Blue Rock School and St. Thomas Aquinas College, has proven memorable. As always, the evening will offer a chance to catch up with friends, perhaps do a bit of shopping and of course, have some refreshments. We hope to see you there, and please RSVP via the link below. ML RSVP Link ALSO, this Saturday, July 20 Walk to the Beat NYACK. Read details HERE.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


What's more fun than a relaxing weeknight spent catching up with friends and family, listening to music and gazing out over the Hudson River? The 22nd season of Mostly Music, presented by Friends of the Nyacks and sponsored by Maria Luisa Boutique and Eyevolution Optique, kicks off in grand style at 6 p.m. June 26 with "Youthfest." Stop by to hear Danna Banana, pianist Albert Alhf and Midnight Brigade. The series continues at 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday through Aug. 14. (We're especially looking forward to the patriotic program to be presented by the Orangetown Concert Band on July 3). If you're planning to picnic, swing by ML Gifts & Accessories on the way to pick up some fun accessories. Options range from mix-and-match cutlery to bamboo-fiber tumblers, bottle openers to snazzy outdoor carpets (use one at the park, then roll it up and take it home!) The park is at the corner of Depew and Piermont avenues.
And don't forget that the "Music in the Garden" series at the Edward Hopper House Art Center kicks off next month. Full details in our next newsletter.

Monday, April 29, 2013


When we say Maria Luisa Whittingham goes to great lengths to find great things for her boutiques, we mean it. Last month found her on a journey to Peru where she, representing Maria Luisa Boutique, had been selected by PromPeru to attend PeruModa to explore a working relationship with some of the country's artisans. The trip was a real success, with Maria returning from Lima with a heightened appreciation of Peru's cuisine and its many diverse indigenous cultures -and a real excitement about some new connections made. We feel in the coming months you'll also share that excitement when you begin to see the results of these new opportunities and relationships Maria's trip helped forge. Below are images from Maria's recent visit to Lima. Peru.