After slugging it out in the retail world working for other people, Jackie Wall of Wantagh and Amanda Perrotta of Plainview decided it was high time to strike out on their own and work for themselves.
In November of 2014, the result of their efforts—The Trendy Owl, a fashionable boutique for women—first opened its doors at 10 Washington Ave. in Plainview, and the two fledgling entrepreneurs set out on their first steps towards success.
“This is the first store that we’ve ever owned. Individually, it’s something that we both always wanted to do,” Perrotta said. “We met and became friends not too long ago through our previous job and since I live in town, I saw that this spot was available and it gave me an idea. We had always talked about opening our own place, so I got in touch with Jackie and ran it past her.”
“I thought you were crazy, but I said all right, let me look at it,” Wall replied. “So we came and looked, and I thought it was a good spot and that this was something that we could really pull off.”
And pull it off they have. The Trendy Owl specializes in all manner of clothing and accessories such as hats, bags and jewelry, but with a wide variety of styles and a contemporary edge that can be quite appealing to just about any shopper, Wall said.
“We try to tailor it so we can pick out what’s most accessible and wearable,” she said. “Everyone looks at the great fashion shows and everything looks wonderful, but not everyone can pull off wearing that stuff. So, we try to bring fashions here to real life with clothes and accessories that are fashionable but casual and realistic as well, and we try to have a little something for everybody.”
With the local economy still shaky for small businesses these days, Perrotta admitted that taking the plunge on The Trendy Owl was a frightening proposition—especially when they had plenty of naysayers to contend with along the way.
“It was really scary and it definitely took a lot of guts, especially when most people’s advice was ‘don’t do it.’ But we knew we had what it takes to be successful,” she said. “After all, we had a vision and we had enough experience that we were confident that we could deliver.”
Since their grand opening, The Trendy Owl has enjoyed a strong response from the community, Wall noted. However, with the benefits come the drawbacks as well, as anyone who works for themselves will likely tell you—and to which Perrotta said she can attest—it’s certainly a lot of work.
“Since we’ve opened the response has been really great. Everybody’s always telling us how much they love it here and that the town was missing a store like this, so it’s nice to hear the positive feedback,” she said. “But there’s a lot of sacrifice and lot of hours involved, and it’s just the two of us so we’re here seven days a week. But we’re really toughing it out, adjusting our schedules with one another and it’s all worth it. After all, there’s nobody better to work for than yourself.”
One major thing that sets The Trendy Owl apart from many other stores out there is its commitment to selling as many American-made brands as they possibly can, Perrotta noted.
“Because of the economy, some other stores out there are going as cheap as possible and as a result they lose out on some quality,” she said. “So we’re trying to focus on things made in thr USA to be a little different, because there’s a huge trend going the other way.”
If The Trendy Owl continues to be successful, Perrotta said that the idea of expansion or an additional location isn’t out of the question, But for the time being, she and her partner plan on simply concentrating on crafting the very best shopping experience for their customers that they possibly can.
“We’re just trying to create a happy environment for people to come in and feel like they’re at home,” she said. “No pressure, just an easy experience. Kind of like the type of place where your mom and daughter can shop and have a great time while doing so.”