Janine Logue started with a handmade doll she brought to work. Her first indication that she was onto something came when co-workers fawned over the doll, asking if her creation was for sale.
That was two decades ago.
Since then, Logue obtained a copyright, sold her handmade crafts on the internet, took a leap of faith by opening a small store, and then moved to a second shop in Armonk.
, Logue's new boutique in Port Chester, is now her third location.
"This," she said, "is my biggest doll house ever."
Painted in bright hues of pink and yellow, Enchanted Wishes occupies a loft space on Willett Avenue, just off Main Street. Set back more than 30 feet from the street, it's easy to miss.
Inside is a different matter: Customers are greeted by giant stuffed animals, and the shelves sparkle with faerie wands, magic mirrors and mermaid-themed party decorations. If daughters -- and moms -- are reluctant to leave after they've spent time inside Enchanted Wishes, Logue says she's accomplished her goal.
"People get that feeling when they walk in here," she said.
Describing her customers as "anyone from three years old to 73 years old," Logue says she makes "about ninety percent" of the items on display. Her merchandise ranges from toys and gifts to crafts and party decorations. Hosting parties is one of the primary reasons for the move from Armonk.
The old store was only 390 square feet. Logue said parents and other long-time customers wanted her to host parties, but she didn't have the room in the Armonk shop. Even if she could find a way to squeeze a small group of children into the shop, she said, there was no room for their parents.
Logue, who grew up in Port Chester, saw a listing for the vacant Willett Avenue shop in December while searching for new digs. In the photos, the space looked perfect, but Logue said she had reservations until she saw it in person. In fact, she admits, she didn't want to like it.
"But I opened the door and said, 'What's not to like?'"
Logue said she knew downtown was in the midst of a revival, but didn't know if a shop like Enchanted Wishes would draw customers from out of town the way Port Chester's restaurants did. What swayed her, she said, was the continued growth of the downtown, including places like , and . That, and enthusiasm from long-time customers, who told Logue they were already frequenting Port Chester and would make the boutique a regular stop on dining out or movie nights.
"I had to look at Port Chester with a new pair of eyes," Logue said. "When you're used to seeing something one way for a long time, you have to train yourself to see it a different way."
Now, she said, she's happy with her decision and hopes the shop's proximity to popular businesses and eateries draws in foot traffic. The boutique is a cross the street from a large municipal lot used most often by diners heading to and , arguably Port Chester's busiest restaurant.
With help from her carpenter brother, Logue made the move from Armonk in mid-January and has recently put the finishing touches on the boutique. Now, she said, she can finally add "party host" to the list at Enchanted Wishes. The Port Chester store has ample room for moms, dads and even male siblings -- but the biggest appeal for parents may be dropping the kids off while experiencing Port Chester's downtown.
"When people came from places like Rockland and Yorktown Heights, they were thrilled," Logue said. "And they're saying, 'We could have a girl's night out here.'"
Visit at 111 Willett Ave. in Port Chester, just off North Main Street. For more information, call the store at 914-305-3131. The store's grand opening is slated for Sunday, March 4 at 1 p.m. The will feature "Fanciful Fairies, Mystical Mermainds, Petite Princesses, Mischevious Mice, Enchanted Blooms and our Fairytale Tutu Poofs" along with refreshments and raffles.
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