By Arielle Dollinger
Behind a heavy door, whose wooden frame holds a full-length window wearing a white curtain, exists what Northport storeowner Carlene Afetian calls “basically a big closet.”
Her store, Veronica Rayne Boutique – a name that will, in the coming months, be shortened to Rayne Boutique – is an eclectic oasis of pieces hand-picked by its owner, whose store is named after her daughter.
Ripped jeans and rocker tees hang alongside peasant blouses and party dresses. Table dressings consist of shoes with buckles and zippers and chains.
“I just buy what I like,” said Afetian, wearing a top and shoes she purchased for the store. “I edit my stock well... It’s like a full closet.”
The 11-year-old store offers what appears to be a clean sort of grunge. Soft knits and sweatshirt-material jackets. Chunky necklaces and chunkier heels. A wire mannequin displays belts of pink and blue and brown. The mannequin is a new addition to the store; Afetian bought it at an antique market on Sunday.
As the time of the name change approaches, the store itself will remain the same but Afetian has plans to rebrand.
“Eleven years I've been here, and now it’s just time to freshen up,” she said.
As part of the rebranding process, she will create a new logo and begin blogging regularly.
Her focus now is on American-made brands, like Seattle-based hemp-and-organic-cotton-heavy line Prairie Underground.
Afetian said she ended up with the store almost by happenstance. She studied political science at Stony Brook University. When she realized that she “hated” law school, she started doing graphic design work for designer Donna Karen and eventually found herself as the owner of a clothing shop.
Having worked for Donna Karen, she came to develop a nearly insatiable desire for new items of clothing. At some point, shopping for her wardrobe and working as a personal shopper for others turned into owning a store.
Today, that store has seen three different homes in its 11 years on Northport’s Main Street and is representative of Afetian's personal style. Afetian still provides by-appointment shopping and styling services.
“I think my style's more like a street style,” she said.
For a general idea of the boutique’s style, see the company’s soon-to-be burgeoning social media presence – follow the store’s Instagram page, @Rayne_NY or visit its website, www.rayneboutique.com.