For celebrity wedding and events planner Michael Russo, 41, the party’s never over. But once the pandemic hit, Russo’s roster of high profile, fancy fetes evaporated. For the past 15 years, Russo has brought dreams to life for the weddings of celebrities such as Kevin and Danielle Jonas, Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo and Elvis Duran and Alex Carr. But suddenly, Russo found himself with time on his hands. "The event industry has been indefinitely put on pause," he says. "I saw an opportunity and decided to take the leap and open a shop."
He did it. His new boutique, MADE by Michael Russo, opened this month in Cold Spring Harbor as a place where, despite the absence of big gigs, Russo gets to strut his style and vision.
Here, just in time for the holidays, Russo offers a hand-picked selection of home accessories such as platters, serving bowls and decorative containers that he says, "you can fill with fresh plants and orchids or silk plants that look so real you have to touch them to see that they’re fake," all of which he sells. There are handsome canvas bags with leather straps, hoodies and dishware with town logos. Find basketfuls of "super cozy and comfy knit, wool and fleece blankets." Russo has also developed a signature scent that he calls, "delightful, very citrusy," and comes as a candle, reeds and room spray. Added to the mix is delicate jewelry by Danielle Jonas, and coming soon, an exclusive collection Russo says he’s developing with her.
In addition to the merchandise, he’ll work his creative chops on signature floral arrangements and custom gift baskets filled with everything from Champagne and candles to host gifts. "You name it. I can make it," says Russo. "Since I was eight-years-old I’ve been making things. I can buy something from a store and put my own creative touch on it, so the name, ‘Made by Michael Russo’ just feels natural."
His favorite item in the shop? An oval platter emblazoned with the words, "Hey Doll." (It’s his catchphrase.) "Every time she saw me, my grandmother would say, 'Hey doll'. She was just such a great support system, I kind of adopted the phrase, and now I greet everyone — guy and gal friends that way."
Prices range from $5.50 for fancy paper plates, napkins and disposable but dishwasher safe cutlery to $450 for an elaborate silk flower arrangement.
INFO: MADE by Michael Russo is located at 143 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor; 631-498-6729, madebymichaelrusso.com.