At Pashley’s, Always Looking Ahead

By Janee Law

  Pat Ramsay, founder of Pashley’s Children’s Boutique, and daughter Debbie Schiper, co-owner, standing by girls Christmas dresses.

Pat Ramsay, founder of Pashley’s Children’s Boutique, and daughter Debbie Schiper, co-owner, standing by girls Christmas dresses.

When walking to Pashley’s Children’s Boutique in Cold Spring Harbor, the porch is lined up with rocking chairs and mannequins that display dresses and holiday clothes for children and juniors. 

Yet inside, while winter hasn’t even begun, Pashley’s has brought in its spring line, including bathing suits for girls and communion dresses.

That’s because in the clothing business, the shop has been a step ahead of every season.

Debbie Schiper, of Lloyd Harbor, who owns the store with her mother Pat Ramsay, of Huntington, said communion season is one of the store’s busiest times of the year. Customers come from Westchester, New Jersey and to Pashley’s for its communion dresses, she said.

“We have really great customers and some have been shopping here for years,” Schiper said. “She [Ramsay] has people who have shopped for their daughter here and now they’re coming back shopping for their granddaughter or grandson so she’s seen families and generations come back [and] it’s pretty cool.”

Based in a two-story home that was built in the mid-1800s, the shop opened at 169 Main St. in 1990 and sells classic and traditional styles from clothes, jewelry, shoes, toys and accessories for girls and boys.

“I began having grandchildren and I wanted something to do [and this] was born,” Ramsay said. “I’ve always loved children, I’ve done a lot of dressmaking and sewing and a lot of it was for children.”

While each room has its own designation, apparel and toys for babies and toddlers is found on the first floor. 

On the second floor, the girl’s room has a section for sizes 4-6x and an area for sizes 7-16. Also upstairs, in a separate room, is clothing for boys sizes 4-20, along with accessories like watches, ties and shoes.

“We buy everything, we go to New York City, we go to the Jacobs Javits Center and they have shows,” Schiper said, adding that they travel to Staten Island to look at communion dresses. “We walk around to all the different manufactures and choose what we like.”

Ramsay and Schiper will be going to a show in three weeks to prepare the shop for the 2016-2017 winter season.

After the holidays, Schiper said communion is the next biggest event they are gearing up for, which runs from January through the spring.

Some of the communion dresses and dresses for special occasions are made just for them, Schiper said, adding that the dresses can go from $100-$1,000.

“They’re just for us. You won’t even find them anywhere at a manufacturer,” she said. “We tell them what we want, they make it for us and its Pashley’s dress, which is kind of unusual. So it’s really fun.”

With five employees, the shop is more than 2,000-square feet in size and offers services like gift-wrapping and gifts for corporations, such as baby baskets for newborns.

“If they want service, I think that’s one of the better reasons to come here as well as getting a pretty wide selection,” Ramsay said.

“When you go to the department store, there’s nothing out there and it’s such a small selection, they have less than we have and what’s there is just not the same quality,” Schiper said. “We really were able to pull all really nice quality brands and it’s not all crazy expensive either. It’s very good value.”