Brooklyn has come to New Paltz in the form of both new and vintage clothing.
Owner Laura Andrighetti, 23, opened Ritual, a “unique boutique,” on April 11. The small store at 56 Main St. holds an array of clothing and accessories, as well as art for sale.
Andrighetti, originally from Wilton, Conn., said she always wanted to have a store and was a “hoarder” all her life.
“I’ve always collected stuff since I was a kid,” she said. “There’s a hoarding gene in my family. I really just needed a place for all the stuff I collected.”
Before coming to New Paltz, Andrighetti moved to New York City in 2005 to attend Marymount Manhattan. She dropped out after one year, worked in retail and then went to beauty school. She worked in a salon and a small boutique in Brooklyn, but decided she needed a change.
“I had just moved up here on a whim. I was sick of Brooklyn,” she said. “I was looking at places in the Hudson Valley and New Paltz seemed, according to Google, like a cool place to be.”
After looking on Craigslist, Andrighetti came to New Paltz for only one day, taking the first apartment she saw and moving in a week later in August 2010.
She had the opportunity to open the store, formally Sierra Moon, in January. Andrighetti gives credit to her mom, who passed away when she was a kid, for the store.
“I did this for her because she’s not here. For all the strong ladies in my family that aren’t here anymore,” she said. “I wanted to do something in their honor. They taught me how to collect stuff and appreciate the small beauty in other people’s junk.”
Ritual offers a combination of both men and women’s new and vintage clothing. Some of the wholesale items, which can range in price up to $68, are from boutiques in New York City. As for the vintage items, many things are either what Andrighetti has collected or from other collectors. She has also gathered clothing from thrift stores, which have much cheaper prices than the better quality of vintage clothing.
Andrighetti said she immediately picks what she’s “attracted to.”
“If you’re at a thrift store or even your parents’ closets, you see the same things over and over again,” she said. “There’s certain ideas of what’s outdated and what’s not cool. If you look at it a different way, your style becomes something completely different. It no longer becomes outdated. It becomes an interesting piece of clothing.”
Mark Moran, originally from Virginia, is the art curator of Ritual, and the art for sale in the store reflects the colors of the clothing and the store itself. He met Andrighetti in New York City.
“My main goal is to develop pieces from different artists in the area about different concepts,” said Moran. “Our opening show was a purely aesthetic vibe, with bright colors of spring, happiness.”
Moran is in the works of putting on a show in June with artists Kate Kosek and Jason Linguanti, best friends whose work really compliment one another. Moran said he is always keeping an eye out for emerging talent.
“I went to campus last Friday to see the thesis shows and got a few cards with things I enjoyed,” said Moran. “There’s a lot of talent on the SUNY campus.”
Ritual is also working on having music be a part of the store. On May 14, Bronx-based reggae band Royal Chaos will be playing in the alleyway in front of Cabaloosa’s. They’re also interested in having other bands play, like Breakfast in Fur.
The store, which is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, but closed on Tuesdays, has been getting positive feedback.
“People are just checking it out and seeing what we are. I think we kind of stun people,” she said. “A lot of people will walk in and stop in the first part of the store and be like, ‘That’s cool!’ and run to look at stuff. That’s the kind of reaction I was hoping for.”
An artist herself, Andrighetti said she is happy to be in a place like New Paltz.
“It’s a big difference from the city. Everyone’s just so much nicer,” she said. “It’s nice to be around a bunch of young people that are motivated and enjoy art and culture.”
Christina Dedonato, a resident of Beacon, N.Y., came to the store with two full boxes of items to bring to Andrighetti. She said she believes in the vintage movement.
“I think that people are getting sick and tired of mass-produced, poorly made clothing. I think that’s really bringing on the retro movement to use what we have instead of mass-producing more junk,” she said. “I think this store has a really good shot. It’s got a nice mix of handmade and vintage. It’s going to take off for the sky.”