This year we are celebrating our 30th anniversary in business, all of those years in the heart of Nyack’s downtown.
It was back in 1987 when Maria Luisa Whittingham opened the doors to her first retail establishment, what was then a tiny 400-square-foot subterranean space in a Broadway building that was an antiques mall of sorts.
Over the years, her business – and commitment to the community – grew and grew. Today, she stands proud as the founder and sole proprietor of not only Maria Luisa Boutique but its sister shop, ML by Maria Luisa. These South Broadway staples have become much more than “stores.” Sure, Maria is proud that she has a loyal customer base that continues to seek out her handpicked selections – but is equally proud that this very same clientele supports her and joins in her work in the community. It might be the way they participate in a benefit shopping night, donate to the ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship Fund or take to the streets, literally, marching along with our team members for social and environmental causes.
Looking back, it’s been most rewarding to recognize the continued growth, both physical (in moves to our present side-by-side shops) to more figurative, from our initiating our scholarship fund to our “Say No! To the Bag” campaign to our ML/GL Global Initiative, which continues to raise funds for a variety of local causes and organizations, including our scholarship.
A SPECIAL YEAR
With our 30th anniversary year under way, there have already been highlights. On June 8, for example, we presented our third annual ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship to Melissa Denizard of Spring Valley High School, a National Honor Society member, activist and filmmaker. During this year’s award celebration, Maria also announced that the guidelines for the program are being broadened to embrace applicants to identify as female.
In addition, we are proud to have gathered the largest team – MlfavesMariaLuisa – to participate in the 30th annual Women’s Distance Festival 5K Walk/Run. The July 8 event at Rockland Lake State Park in Congers will mark not only our 30th anniversary along with the event’s anniversary but also Maria’s own 60th birthday.
We hope even more participants will join our team (or make a donation in our name). To mark all of these milestones, for each registered ML team participant, Maria has committed to donate $25 to the event beneficiary, the Center for Safety and Change, a nonprofit organization long supported by Maria and her business.
But that’s not all. Looking to autumn, we will be hosting themed events throughout October and November, with a special anniversary day set for Oct. 19. Believe us when we say you’ll want to save that date.
And October in Nyack also means one very special event. The Nyack Halloween Parade – and we all know what a huge Nyack, Rockland and metro-area event that is – is also marking its 30th annual edition. (Yes, 1987 was a very special year!) The Maria Luisa team and our friends in the community will make our second appearance in the holiday tradition this year scheduled for Oct. 28. We’ve got big plans for this, as well, so you wont’ want to miss it.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Events, sales, etc. – they’re all part of our business, but they are just that, a part of our business. We also value the relationships, friendships in many cases, we have forged through our customers. And we also recognize our team members throughout the years, not only who contribute to our success on a daily basis but, we feel, also gain something tangible from working at Maria Luisa. Over the years, we have seen so many thrive here, developing their own outlook on teamwork, true customer service, the value of supporting local and artisan goods and Fair Trade principles and so much more. And have fun doing it.
Over time, we have all come together to host events ranging from poetry readings to book signings, art exhibitions to musical performances, events that stretched our minds and sometimes, our bodies.
We have kept up with the ever-changing, often-challenging face of retail, furthering our brand and philosophy through the latest social-media platforms.
There have been honors and recognition over the years, as well. Rewarding, to be sure.
But perhaps the best part of it all is hearing what Maria Luisa has meant to you, our loyal customers, so continue to share your thoughts.
Tell us what you think and know that we sincerely thank you for your unwavering support – since 1987.
And now, with the 30th anniversary celebrations about to kick into high gear, we welcome you to join us as we CELEBRATE with a number of special events.
We’ve offered a few highlights about what’s planned. Read on – and continue to follow us on social media, through our quarterly newsletter and blog – or stop in and ask us what’s next.
Saturday, July 8th
July 2017 marks the 30th Annual Women's Distance Festival 5K Run/Walk, Maria Luisa's 30th year doing business in #nyack and July 8, the day of this 2017 event is also my ( Maria Whittingham) 60th birthday! 30 + 30 = 60. So, I invite you to JOIN OUR TEAM, #MLfaves@MariaLuisa for the 30th Annual Women's Distance Festival. Maria Whittingham / Maria Luisa Boutique will contribute $25 for each registered #MLfaves@MariaLuisa runners/walkers. (Feel free to walk :)) Maria Luisa Boutique will also provide a Tasc Bamboo Performance Maria Luisa shirt (in addition to the even's shirt, photos to follow-soon) So, please join our #MLfaves @MariaLuisa team and help us raise $1,000 or more for the Center for Safety & Change. Rockland Road Runners Oh, and feel free to add a donation whether or not you register :) See you on July 8, 2017. ( Sign-up fee $25.00 payable to the Rockland Road Runners Club).
This is so cool. Come and join all of the women and girls running at the event. While the race is for women and girls only, this announcement is for EVERYONE.
We are pleased to announce the first ever WDF/RRR Party in the Park, which will start after the race. Make sure to visit the Maria Luisa table while you're there! There will be food, beer, wine, face painting, music and craft vendors.... at Rockland Lake State Park after the race. ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US IN CELEBRATING #30yearsrunning. Bring cash, your wallets, a change of clothes, and leave it all in the car. Since my 60th birthday is on July 8th, I'll consider this one big-fun birthday party for me. :)
If you haven't signed up yet, join the #MLfaves@MariaLuisa team, we are donating $25, for each registered #MLfaves team member, to the Center for Safety & Change.
Thursday, October 19th
Maria Luisa 30th Anniversary Event - Details coming!