Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Wow, 2014 here at Maria Luisa was really something.
And we thank you, our preferred customers, for being with us every step of the way.
The Maria Luisa team
It’s become our custom to pause before the start of each new year, take a few moments to look back and savor all that has passed.
Your continued support and loyalty are among the most rewarding aspects of what goes on at both Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa.
Our team members genuinely enjoy talking with you, catching up with you — and helping you find that perfect outfit, shoe, necklace or gift.
From the earliest days of last January all the way through this recent holiday season, we have been looking ever forward, which is always reflected in what we offer.
Launch Event
Yes, there is a “Maria Luisa look,”and it’s one that continues to evolve.
We continue to seek out the most unique fashions, accessories, gifts and home-d├ęcor items to offer you in our shops. And, as you know, who makes those items is very important to us. We have long supported the artisan way, the shopping local movement, the Fair Trade methods of production.
A major effort
Frances Pratt, Nyack Mayor Jen White,
NY Congress Woman Nita Lowey, 

Senator David Carlucci and Maria Luisa
Perhaps the biggest moment of this year for us was the official launch of the Maria Luisa/Global Local Initiative this autumn. It was an exciting evening – with local dignitaries in attendance – when we officially launched the initiative that formalizes what we have been doing for decades.
Hopefully, you are well aware of this new program – and we thank all those who have so heartily embraced it by shopping online at In short, it’s a way for us to continue to offer you goods created by those artists, artisans and companies whose philosophy aligns with ours, a way to bring

you what we feel is the very best while also supporting our local community, of which we are a very active and proud part.
With ML/GL, when you shop online, we have made the commitment to donate 10% of the proceeds to a local nonprofit. You shop, and we donate to The Nyack Center, People to People or VCS Pride – whichever organization you designate. Of course, you can also opt to support the ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship Fund, also launched this year. We look forward to awarding the scholarship this spring to a deserving female high-school senior who has demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to the principles of civic and community involvement, of social justice and of Fair Trade and eco-minded endeavors.
Our own commitment to such endeavors is something we strive to carry out every day, as exemplified by our Say NO! to the Bag campaign, which continues to grow. Keep Rockland Beautiful, marched in support of our cause.
We will always ask if you need a bag in our efforts to reduce (and eventually do away with) the prevalence of single-use plastic bags. Perhaps you saw our most outward sign of the effort on Halloween? Yes, that was Maria herself as the 'Bag Beauty', Bill Batson as the 'Bag Beast' – and quite a few team members – sporting fashions created out of recycled bags as we, along with
With honors 
Social Justice Day
The year has been one of further public recognition, with Maria Luisa Whittingham receiving several honors. In January, she was recognized during Nyack College’s 2014 Social Justice Day Luncheon, while November found her accepting another award, this time during the fourth annual Hispanic Business Awards.
But, of course, Maria will be the first one to tell you she’s not in it for the recognition. Her quiet support of so many causes and efforts over the years attests to that fact. Still, when the need is there, Maria is not shy about speaking up as she did with her persuasive “Shop Local” op-ed piece published in The Journal News and on in late summer.
A new look
With an eye always on the future, Maria Luisa took several major steps this year, as well. First up was an ambitious construction project that transformed ML by Maria Luisa. It was a long haul, but the “sneak peek” special event, held in conjunction with September’s “First Friday” event followed up by an entire weekend of “Grand Re-Opening” festivities in October let us all know the work was more than worth it.
In addition, Maria Luisa thanks you for all your votes that allowed her to advance in “Main Street Mission Grant, a grant program from Chase. The program included an intense application project completed in hopes of securing funds that would allow the business, primarily on the infrastructure and technology front, to advance to another level. (Keep your fingers crossed as we await the announcement of the winners in early 2015.)
The art of business
Throughout, there are those “everyday” efforts that Maria Luisa participates Nyack High School’s Arts Angels program. The shops were also part of the annual ArtWalk event and further supported arts events ranging from a film screening at The Edward Hopper House Art Center to the Local Arts Index, which appears in Nyack News & Views. (Many of the featured artists have also exhibited at ML by Maria Luisa).
in that simply add to the richness of Nyack life. Once again, the shops took part in every Nyack street fair and welcomed countless guests to “First Friday” events, including a most memorable evening that spotlighted the young talent of
The year also saw Maria’s return to Peru, where she was invited back as part of a program designed to increase trade. She connected with many new artisans and small companies whose beautiful handiwork continues to be featured in the shops.
Not bad, right?
And those are just the highlights.
As you can see, it’s been quite a year.
We can’t wait to see what 2015 brings — and we look forward to seeing you at Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa soon, when we can wish you a “Happy, Healthy New Year” in person.
     Mary Shustack, Maria Luisa newsletter editor.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday & Giving Tuesday at plus MORE

                                                  PURCHASE GIFT CARDS NOW!

                                                       SHOP ON GIVING TUESDAY


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Shop Local' philosophy shared by Maria Luisa Whittingham

As the holiday season is now really upon us - and "Shop Small Saturday" is just days away - we wanted to share something with you, in case you missed it. Recently, Maria Luisa Whittingham's letter about the value and imporance of supporting your independent local business was published  in both The Journal News and online at Please take a read - and also check out all we are doing at both Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa this Thanksgiving weekend HERE
 LOHUD  letter link

Monday, November 3, 2014

Did you see us in the Halloween parade?

The Maria Luisa team had such a blast at the Nyack Halloween Parade, dressed in eco-minded costumes and helping, along with Keep Rockland Beautiful, our "Say NO to the Bag!" pledge drive.
We have many a Thank You to share. We thank:

  • Nyack Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring the parade.
  • Credit for the dress creations goes to Emelia Ruyle, one of Maria Luisa's valuable and talented team members. 
  • A great big Thank You to the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority for the Bag beasts
  • Bill Batson for becoming the bag beast
  • Sue Webb as the baby beast.
  • Keep Rockland Beautiful, Inc. for their tireless work! 
  • Susan, Jazmin, Maribel, Emelia, Jennifer, Stephanie and Laurie for their creativity, enthusiasm and Say NO to the Bag team spirit.
  • Janae and Janae for choosing to march with 'Bag Beaty and the Beast'

Maria Luisa is committed to reducing the use of single use plastic page. Re-using and recycling. Please sign the pledge to say NO to the bag at
Not only did we have a blast, Maria Luisa and Bill Batson won top honors going as "Beauty & the Beast."
While you're in the signing mode, if you haven't already then please also read and sign our "Say NO to the Bag!" pledge
It's a simple step that each of us can do - and a step that makes a huge impact locally. Say NO to the bag and Spread the word.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Congratulations are in order here, at Maria Luisa

Congratulations are in order here, at Maria Luisa. The Business Development Center and the RCC College Foundation will be hosting their 4th Annual SBDC Hispanic Business & Student Achievement Awards Luncheon on November 7 from Noon-2pm at the Haverstraw Elks Club and Maria Luisa's founder; Maria L Whittingham will be recognized as "Latina Entrepreneur of the Year". Please join us in congratulating Maria Luisa Whittingham.  

Maria Luisa / ML by Maria Luisa / ML/GL        75-77 South Broadway, Nyack NY 10960

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Procession urges public to “say no” to single use disposable plastic bags

For Immediate Release

Contact Maria Luisa Whittingham: (845) 664-8492

Halloween Procession urges public to “say no” to single use disposable plastic bags

A procession led by a “Bag Beauty” and a “Bag Beast” will march in the Nyack Halloween Parade on October 25, 2014 to promote the “Say No To The Bag” campaign that encourages the public to “say no” to single-use disposable plastic bags. 

The Bag Beauty will wear a gown created from single-use disposable bags and fashioned by Maria Whittingham, owner of Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa. The Bag Beast will wear the 500 plastic bags that a consumer uses in a year. The grotesque garment is on loan from Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority. 

The Bag Beauty and Beast will march in the 27th annual parade, past recycling containers that were recently installed by the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority through-out downtown Nyack. “There is a reason that we celebrate Halloween and observe rise above plastics in the month of October.
It is scary that we continue to rely on single use plastic bags,” said Maria Luisa. “If people knew the horror that every square mile of the ocean has 46,000 pieces of floating plastic, killing whales, birds, seals and turtles, we might start bringing reusable bags when we shop.”

“If you are planning on attending the parade, please bring your single -use plastic bags and feed them to the bag beauty and the bag beast.  Our volunteers will collect the bags and recycle the before your eyes. The tail for the beast and dress train for the beauty will grow as the problem of single use bags is reduced.  

After the parade, the bags will be reused again.  All bags that do not become part of the permanent bag beast will be given to Anthony’s Park Mobile Arts & Recycle Center and transformed into original artworks, crafts and apparel.

This action is a collaboration between Maria Luisa, Rockland Solid Waste Management Authority, Keep Rockland Beautiful, Rockland Youth Environment Society, Anthony’s Park Art and Re-cycle Center, Bill Batson Arts and NyackNewsAndViews.

Gather at Maria Luisa at 75 South Broadway on Sat. Oct 25 @ 2p if you wish to volunteer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Last few days to vote - help us receive the Chase Mission Main Street Grant!

If you have not yet voted for Maria Luisa's chance at the Chase Mission Main Street $150,000.00 grant award, please concider voting for us now!

It's easy to vote - Click below and VOTE.

'Embracing Community' We source and sell ethical and desirable merchandise that enables us to give back to the community. How? Providing a place, merchandise and conversation aimed to empower our customers. Employment and mentoring opportunities. Overall we provide a warm and welcoming environment.

Thank you for your support!

 Mission Main St. Grants
Maria Luisa Mission Main St. Grant Applicant

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Local Nyack Events

Visit our Calendar at for details on upcoming events in Nyack, NY and surrounding Rockland County areas. 

October features:

3: First Friday, a village-wide event features visual artists, music and local businesses, including Maria Luisa and ML by Maria Luisa

12: The Nyack Street Fair, sponsored by the Art, Craft & Antiques Dealers Association

24-26: All weekend, help us celebrate our Grand Re-opening Celebration of the recent renovation and new expanded Global Local Fair-Trade merchandise at ML by Maria Luisa. Special Promotions!

25: The Nyack Halloween Parade

November features:

1: Keep Rockland Beautiful - Annual Awards, Live Performances by Anna de la Paz Flamenco and Jazz by the Dynamic Trio

7: First Friday, a village-wide event features visual artists, music and local businesses, including Maria Luisa and ML by Maria Luisa

And More! Visit us at for more information.

Monday, September 29, 2014


'Her organic work is inspiring. Here is a young talent that you will want to get to know.' ML

ML by Maria Luisa is pleased to showcase the work of artist, 
Erin Girling.
Erin is the latest featured Artist of the Week @ the NyackNewsandViews Local Artist Index.

 Read on...
Selection of  work by Erin Girling

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vote for Maria Luisa - Chase Mission Main Street Grant

If you have not yet voted for Maria Luisa's chance at the Chase Mission Main Street $150,000.00 grant award, please concider voting for us now!

It's easy to vote - Click below and VOTE.

'Embracing Community' We source and sell ethical and desirable merchandise that enables us to give back to the community. How? Providing a place, merchandise and conversation aimed to empower our customers. Employment and mentoring opportunities. Overall we provide a warm and welcoming environment.

Thank you for your support!

 Mission Main St. Grants
Maria Luisa Mission Main St. Grant Applicant

Friday, September 5, 2014

Oh, what a night!

 Well, the wait is over – the door to ML by Maria Luisa was opened at 5 p.m. Friday – and to our pleasure, we had loyal customers already waiting out front.

We combined the unveiling of our renovation with First Friday festivities, but we admit, our special event kind of took precedence. 
And we can’t thank you all enough. We shared laughs and conversation, refreshments and a bit of bubbly.
You gave us compliments. You shopped with determination – thanks to all for your patience, as it did get a bit crowded.
Throughout the evening, you made us feel that the sometimes-stressful construction was more than worth it.

It was a pleasure sharing it all with you, our loyal customers. And we were happy to welcome new faces, as well, and hope the evening served as a fitting glimpse into what we do here at Maria Luisa.
We invite everyone to continue to visit us at both ML by Maria Luisa (where we will be having an official Grand Re-Opening Party soon) and the original Maria Luisa Boutique.
We’re open throughout the weekend, including all day Sunday when we’ll also have booths outside as we participate in the SeptemberFest street fair.
Again, thank you all for your lovely outpouring of support.
It was a night to remember.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The final stretch…

What a summer it’s been for us with the renovation of ML by Maria Luisa filling our days (and quite a few evenings).
Now, we’re finally able to say we are oh-so-close to the re-opening of the shop’s doors THIS Friday.

These final days are filled with what’s been more of the fun stuff – the heavy work is now just a memory – as we’ll have all our team members pitching in to help with tasks ranging from hanging the curtains to stocking our shelves (yay!) to setting up our new display windows.
So much to do – and just a handful of days to accomplish it all.
As with any renovation, the tasks sometimes seem endless and we are giving it our all to make it the very best we can.
And what’s keeping us going is that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, imagining the time when we can look back on it all as a job well done – and getting to share the results with you.
Again, we thank you for your patience throughout this project – and appreciate your visiting us at Maria Luisa Boutique next door all summer.

So, with every confidence that we will make it to our “finish line” on time, we invite you to join us at 5 p.m. this Friday for a toast and a walk-through of our new ML by Maria Luisa.
The evening will be part of our “First Friday” celebration but also have that added excitement thanks to the unveiling.
We hope to see you there – and don’t forget to bring your re-usable shopping bag. After all, you’ll want to have it ready for all your new ML finds.
See you Friday!

Sunday, August 17, 2014


How’s your summer going? Ours is... busy, as you likely know by now. We are so happy to report that the construction phase of the mini- renovation of ML by Maria Luisa is pretty much wrapped up.
And now the fun really starts – the “decorating.”
You know how it is- a big empty space and deciding where every little thing will go. 

For us, we’re finalizing the plans for the layout. Clothing here, jewelry there and all that kind of stuff.
We are so excited as much new merchandise will be joining the mix – and we can’t wait to get everything in place.
Yes, it’s hectic, but it’s also exciting.
In the mean time, as has been the case throughout the project, ML by Maria Luisa merchandise has been joining the mix, ever updated, at Maria Luisa Boutique next door. We appreciate everyone stopping by these past few weeks and love how you all seem more than ready to see what we are doing once those brown-paper wrappings come down from the windows.
We continue to look toward a sneak peek opening for ML during the next “First Friday;” we’ll offer more details in our next newsletter (and of course, always on Facebook).
And yes, plans are also under way for our promised Grand Re-Opening Party to follow.
Thanks again for your patience. We think you’ll agree it will have been worth the wait. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

The 'New' ML Update

The construction dust is settling and we are moving on to the next phase of our renovation project. Now it's time to set up the 'new' ML by Maria Luisa.  Here is a tease peek.  

More to come...

At Maria Luisa Boutique, our new arrivals continue to create excitement among our friends and shoppers. Come see what the buzz is about.  

Friday, July 25, 2014


As you likely know, this summer is one of exciting changes in the Maria Luisa world.
We closed the doors of ML by Maria Luisa a few weeks ago to devote time to a renovation project that’s long been planned.
Well, as anyone who has gone through their own home renovation well knows, things always (ALWAYS!) end up taking longer than expected. Things are coming along in a lovely manner, it’s just a bit of a slower manner than planned.
We had originally hoped to re-open in mid-August but that estimate may have been a bit too hopeful; we can’t yet announce a firm re-opening date but stay tuned both here and on Facebook for construction updates and news about all that’s going on in Maria Luisa Boutique, where ML merchandise has found a comfortable yet temporary home.
We just wanted to take a moment to give you this update, as we’ve actually heard a few rumblings that a few people were saying that we might not be re-opening at all.
We want to set the record straight – ML by Maria Luisa will not only be back but will be better than ever. There will be physical changes, aesthetic changes – an overall freshening up to keep ML as vibrant as possible.

And when we are ready, you can expect not only a grand re-opening celebration – but also a refreshed and even-more-exciting place for you to shop. 

In the meantime Maria Luisa is in full swing serving all of our Maria Luisa  and ML supportive friends and customers.   ML

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 22, 2014 Update: How's the Renovation going at ML by Maria Luisa?

Carpenters at work
Preparing the floors
Today is July 22nd and I'm just back from a few days R&R relaxing... and back in Nyack on the renovation ML project.
Walls have new sheetrock, paint is on the walls and ceilings and some new elements are in place.
We're excited about ML's mini-renovation at Maria Luisa and can't wait to unveil the NEW ML. Stay tuned.

I must give thanks to the great, local talent that is working on our project (shout outs will come later). So for now, it's a one stop Maria Luisa and ML shopping experience with brand new deliveries daily and a grand Summer Sale as well.  We love seeing you so stop by soon.
Something new and exciting
ML: Under cover through mid-August
The ML re-open date will be mid August with a grand opening later in September.  In the meantime, your favorite ML items are at Maria Luisa, so no worries, you can still come by for your favorites during the renovation process.  Yes, we have TOMS available and many of the ML favorite accessories  available for you at Maria Luisa for you now.
Check in soon for more updates.                                                                    Ciao, Maria Luisa

Maria Luisa