By Janee Law
Leah Casabona, owner of Morolay Children’s Boutique in Huntington, moved to the United States from the Philippines in 1992 with a passion to one day open her own clothing store.
“It had to be somewhere where I could also raise my kids,” Casabona, 48, of Huntington, said. “Huntington is a fantastic town. It’s very quaint and is a place where you can raise your children."
After passing by the store's current 302 New York Ave. location, Casabona said she fell in love with the building and the village, and accomplished her dream by opening up Morolay’s in 1999.
Casabona had a knack for children, having been an elementary school teacher in the Philippines and raising two daughters, Monica and Cassidy.
She said she always enjoyed dressing up her daughters and developed an eye for beautiful classic clothing for children. This inspired her to focus her store on children’s clothing.
The 1,200-square-foot location, offers special-occasion clothing and accessories for boys and girls, from infants to 12 years old, and also offers plus sizes. Special occasions include weddings, holidays, christenings and communions.
Morolay’s also offers gift sets, toys, shoes and role play dress up outfits, which include several different Disney princess dresses.
Along with the fall season and holidays, Casabona said this is the busiest time of the year, as she prepares for the communion season, between November and May.
Preparation includes re-arranging the store, taking dress and suit orders from customers, and arranging dress and suit alterations. For the dresses, Casabona said she receives nearly 100 for the communion season.
Morolay's communion dresses and suits range in price from $79-$1,000. While many customers can purchase dresses off the rack, Casabona suggests that customers interested in purchasing high-end items place an order. The stores high-end collection includes brands like Christie Helene, Joan Calabrese, Mon Cheri, and Sweetie Pie Collections.
The store will be kicking off its communion season with a sale on Oct. 30, the same day the store opened 18 years ago.
Casabona, who said she focuses on offering a wonderful customer experience, added that she receives most of her business through word-of-mouth.
“I pick what I love and I select items that look different, with a style that will last forever,” Casabona said. “Customers say that they enjoy coming here because I have very different dresses than what you can find at other boutiques and department stores, and my prices are affordable.”
The store is also organized and stays a step ahead, with all fall and winter dresses, particularly for holiday occasions, already in stock.
“I love shopping for new stuff and finding all the fun in fashionable dresses and outfits,” Casabona said. “I love arranging them, displaying them and making children smile when they wear them. There’s nothing better than having a job that you love.”
Morolay Children's Boutique is located at 302 New York Ave. in Huntington. For more info, call 631-351-0063 or visit http://www.morolay.com/.