No. 5 Boutique Blends Old and New

Photo by Samantha Schwartz

The culmination of years of planning finally paid off with the opening of the No. 5 Boutique.

The past few weeks have been hectic the boutique’s owner, Ellen Brunning, said.

“I’ve always had a love for fashion and a knack for creating looks for high fashion on a thrift store budget,” Brunning said.

Brunning has lived in the Town of New Paltz for 20 years and moved to the village last year. She said she was excited about contributing to the community.

“Customers are spending less,” she said. “But they can have the experience of going out in a new outfit, can take a girlfriend out to get chocolate and fancy panties.”

Brunning said she started researching shop plans 10 years ago. Although she originally aimed for a store featuring only products completely made in the United States, she said she soon realized that was unrealistic. Instead, the No. 5 Boutique is modeled “to mimic an old-fashioned variety store.”

The idea of “trading in is the new buying,” Brunning said, is becoming increasingly popular.

She said she thought to combine new and used merchandise a year ago, and through extensive research, the successes of other combination stores encouraged her.

“It sets us apart to have new and used side by side,” Brunning said. “You can find a handmade bag from Bali next to gently used clogs.”

Customer Jaynie Marie Aristero said she believes the boutique is a perfect fit for New Paltz

“I think this is exactly what New Paltz needs,”Aristeo said. “It’s great that she has the courage to do this.”

Although the store does not carry children’s clothing, they have toys on hand to offer shoppers’ children. Brunning said she was previously a special education early interventionist and worked with children from birth to 3 years old.

“I wanted to target moms like me who despise malls,” Brunning said.

Brunning mentioned a woman who came in because she was allergic to cashmere and needed cotton sweaters. Brunning pointed the woman to the gently used section of the store and promised to call her when other sweaters came in. The woman was in her 90’s.

Brunning opened the store with her business partner, Joe Brunning.

“It was a lot of hard work that culminated in a very rewarding start of what we hope to be a long and successful business,” Joe Brunning said.

The boutique officially opened March 1 at their 188 Main St. location.

“We were very excited and bombarded with support. We were meeting people — and 50 percent of them were strangers,” Brunning said. “Time just flies here. I love it.”