Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Here with 2014 within reach, we at Maria Luisa wanted to take a moment to look back over this past year.
First, we extend our very best wishes to you, our preferred customers of Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa (ML Gifts & Accessories). We say customers since we truly value your loyal patronage, but we also value your friendship, something we never take for granted.
So many of you are a part of our lives. You stop in frequently, sometimes just to say hello. We love that. It’s gratifying, as we enter our 27th year in business, to know our shops and our team members are part of a larger community – and part of your lives. In that spirit, we again say that we hope your holiday season has been one filled with every happiness, a time to celebrate family, friends and the true meaning of the season. And we also extend to you our best wishes for a new year that brings you all good things. 2013 was a rewarding one for us in many ways – and we thank you for your patronage, your loyalty, your support of our numerous philanthropic and community efforts – and our special events. Our signature series “Ladies’ Night: The Maria Luisa Way” continued, though in recent months it has morphed to include our participation in “First Friday,” Nyack’s successful downtown art-themed evenings held the first Friday of each month. We’ve hosted art openings and musical performances to the delight of all. Our special evenings,
though, have also continued, notably with our summertime storytelling event that gathered a handful of local writers, from novelists to poets, who captivated us in a truly memorable outdoor gathering. We again participated in One Day Without Shoes to raise awareness of those around the world who go without, a campaign tied to TOMS, one of our favorite shoe brands. And we were thrilled when so many of you joined in our “Say No to the Bag” pledge, our effort at reducing waste and inspiring recycling. We began our sponsorship of the Local Arts Index, a feature found on Nyack News & Views that spotlights the artistry found in our own backyard. We participated in ARTWALK 2013, the eighth annual edition. We were among those supporting the “Mostly Music” concert series in Memorial Park and had a presence at each and every one of Nyack’s famed street fairs. We welcomed new team members with enthusiasm, along the way saying goodbye to those moving on, including Denise and Ruth. We also offered best wishes to Howie Siegel, a longtime neighbor and Nyack pioneer through his iconic store, Christopher’s. On the technical front, we installed a new point-of-sale system that makes our transactions smoother and allows us to track all kind of information (including customer birthdays so we can extend offers to help in the celebrating). As the holiday season got under way, we were proud to conduct a number of initiatives to help those in our community. You shared foods with us that was displayed in our windows (to draw attention to the project) and was then donated to People To People.
We collected coats to be donated to the Nyack Homeless Project and purchased turkeys to feed needy families, again through People To People. We held a benefit shopping event with proceeds donated to The Nyack Center, a cause dear to our hearts. The year also had some events that reached even beyond our own community and that included Maria’s trip to Peru. An exploratory journey designed to investigate new sources for fashions and accessories, the trip was quite a success – on many levels. It was a learning experience, a rewarding journey – and resulted in some lovely finds, many of which were soon in the stores to be purchased by you. We have now established a few connections – with both a designer and a community of craftspeople - that will continue to blossom in coming months; our sweaters and accessories were just a sampling of what’s in store. With the first of the trade shows coming up in January, we will be on the lookout for even more fashions, accessories and merchandise to bring to you. And as always, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog, which continues to grow.
Speaking of growth, we proudly point to our own ML by Maria Luisa, which has long been known as ML Gifts & Accessories. As we continue to transition to its new name, we point to its revamped main-floor layout, expanded offerings and our lower level, which has become a true destination for furniture and home accessories with a certain flair. It has been a rewarding element of our continued growth – and we thank you for supporting our satellite shop in addition to our adjacent flagship.
This year even found us in the national news, first as Nyack was selected as the first community of some 20 throughout North America to be “spruced up” as part of Main Street Matters. The contest, sponsored by paint company Benjamin Moore, brought quite a bit of attention – and a freshening up, literally, of our downtown facades. We were also featured as part of an MSNBC segment on Nyack, broadcast in conjunction with Small Business Saturday. It was an exciting moment – and another sign of good things to come. And on a final note, stay tuned for details of the introduction of a new Maria Luisa philanthropic initiative in coming months. An effort that mirrors the commitment so many of you share when it comes to community and supporting worthwhile causes, this new opportunity to band together in social responsibility has us truly excited – and we look forward to teaming up with you all in this exciting project.
As you can see, lots has happened – and lots more is planned. We look forward to sharing it all with you, to whom we wish a year filled with health, happiness and all good things. — Mary Shustack, Maria Luisa newsletter editor

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