Rosie’s Vintage in Huntington features finds from the 1940s through the 1960s, which is owner Thea Morales' favorite era. “It seems like the midcentury has a pull on me,” she says. “I love the movies, the dresses, the actors and actresses. I love seeing the furniture in the rooms.” Here's a look at her shop and eight others on Long Island.
Rosie's Vintage, Huntington
Thea Morales, 40, has vintage in her blood. Her mother bought and sold antiques, and an aunt on her father’s side had an antiques store in Iowa. But she didn’t pursue her passion until 2000, when she met her husband, Norman, while attending art school in Manhattan. “I’ve always been an old soul,” she says. “But I never had a chance to figure out what I liked. Then, listening to Norman talk about things he’d collected, and showing me things he liked, something woke up in me.”
Morales' Huntington store, Rosie’s Vintage, which officially opened in October 2016, is named after her alter ego, Rosie, and is the result of that awakening. It features finds from the 1940s through the 1960s, which is her favorite era. “It seems like the midcentury has a pull on me,” she says. “I love the movies, the dresses, the actors and actresses. I love seeing the furniture in the rooms.”
Morales says she wanted to make sure her store — which features wares from 14 dealers — had the same pull on her customers. So she’s filled it with home decor, clothing, household goods and curiosities. “We want to evoke a flashback,” she says. If the store looks more like a home than a shop, that’s intentional. “It feels like you’re walking into a house,” she says.
Thea Morales' store actually used to be a home. The store is located in a Dutch blue house with white trim that was originally built as a two-room farmhouse in the 1830s. For more than 100 years, the property was strictly residential and later became zoned for commercial use and expanded into its current size. Today, the two-story, four-room space is dedicated entirely to Morales’ store, though it still retains its domiciliary provenance. “That’s the feeling I wanted,” she says. “I want it to be a nostalgic museum where you can buy stuff.”
For Morales, vintage is all about the stories each item has to tell. That’s why she’s so adamant about people having the real thing. “Buy original,” she says. “Several mass market stores are jumping on the vintage and salvage bandwagon, but why buy a reproduction when you can buy the real thing? And by buying vintage or antique, you make a difference by keeping a tiny piece of history going and lessening the size of the world’s landfills.”
Even though almost everything in her shop is for sale, there are a few things Morales can’t bear to part with. One is a favorite table in the shop’s main room. “It’s a very rough-looking garden table, and it’s sturdy, and it just fits the look of our store. I don’t think I could sell it,” says Morales, who has gotten offers.
Morales says she hopes that her customers will walk out of her store loving what they’ve bought as much as she loves the things she’s collected. “Buying vintage is all about passion,” she says. “You see something and you say, ‘I really need that.’ And you know you’re not going to find it in another store.”
WHAT Rosie’s Vintage
WHERE | WHEN Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days at 101 Woodbury Rd., Huntington
INFO 631-549-9100, facebook.com/rosiesvintagestore
Twin Hearts Vintage, Rockville Centre
Opened by twin sisters Jacqueline and Kristina Lepre in 2011, this store carries 19th and mid-20th century furniture, lighting, glassware and decor. The sisters originally began buying and selling dolls and toys, but soon expanded.
“Saving and restoring these items is very important to us,” says Kristina. “If we were to have a theme, I think ‘preservation’ would be it.”
WHERE 234 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre
INFO 516-442-7800, twinheartsvintage.com
In the Attic Too, Jamesport and Laurel
Dan and Heather McAllister opened their shop in Laurel in 2009, when Dan’s salvaged materials birdhouse-building hobby outgrew their garage. The custom furniture and salvage shop also expanded to include the Red Barn, opened in 2015, and their rustic beach-meets-barn inventory is constantly changing.
“You can always find one of us working away on a project, whether it be painting pieces for the store or for customers, or building down at the barn,” says Heather.
Laurel location: 1095 Franklinville Rd., Laurel; Red Barn location: behind 1565 Main Rd., Jamesport, 631-605-9439, facebook.com/inthe.attictoo
Deep End of the Sandbox, Ronkonkoma
Lauren Bochicchio, who opened this store with her husband, Victor, in 2013, describes the shop as a nostalgic casual, funk pop culture cave. The product mix ranges from 1970s rock tour posters and original, local art to vintage video games, collectibles and decor.
“It’s about recycling with purpose and whimsy,” says Lauren. “It’s about being surrounded by things that make you happy."
WHERE 650 Portion Rd., Ronkonkoma
INFO 631-676-3130, deependofthesandbox.com
Wit and Whim, Port Washington
Opened in 2012 and currently run by Krissy Harper and Jacquelyn Conte, Wit & Whim offers an unusual combination of modern, vintage, fair trade and Americana furniture, decor, art and accessories. The philanthropic shop donates a portion of its profits (or net proceeds) to to a different organization each month.
Scheinman says, “There is a story behind every item in the shop.”
WHERE 6 Carlton Ave., Port Washington
INFO 516-944-9200, wit-and-whim.com
Funk and Swagger, Huntington
For more than 30 years, owner Michael Hubert ran an antique shop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. When he relocated to Huntington in 2015, he curated a blend of eras and styles that range from circa-1860s French furniture to midcentury lights.
“I purchase items that I would want in my own home,” says Hubert. “My favorite item to shop for is one I wind up really wanting to keep, but instead eventually sell to someone equally enthusiastic about owning it.”
WHERE 220 E. Main St., Huntington
INFO 212-875-0748, funkandswagger.com
Antique Attics, Lake Grove
Sabbath Troisi and Justina Beck re-christened their former Finders Keepers space in September 2016. The multidealer location has a little something for almost everyone, from antique and vintage decor to collectibles, military pieces and video games.
Beck prides herself on offering “unusual and fun decor.”
WHERE 2789 Middle Country Rd., Lake Grove
INFO 631-588-0005, antiqueattics.com
South Shore Vintage, Patchogue
Owner Elizabeth Plotz has a background in interior design, so her store, open since November 2016, feels more like someone’s cool house than a store. “I’ve arranged everything so that shoppers can envision the items in their own homes,” she says.
Her space in an old house carries vintage furniture, decor and collectibles, and features a mix of styles and era, including midcentury Modern, Bohemian, Hollywood regency, industrial and rustic.
WHERE 72 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue
INFO 631-475-1940, southshorevintage.com
L.I. Pickers, Westbury
When owner Gary Guarnotta, 54, retired from the childrens furniture business in 2008, he was looking for something to do, and collecting vintage was his passion. Im a 1950s guy, even though I born in the 1960s, he says. Gary even owns his own blue-and-white 1959 Ford Fairlane. So six years ago, he decided to open up a store to showcase his passions -- L.I. Pickers in Westbury. Well, maybe decided is the wrong word.
My wife said to me, we can do this, but you cant bring anything else home, says Gary. You can have a little museum in Westbury, but dont bring this stuff back to the house. His shop, then is full of antiques and collectibles, including furniture, glassware, phones, lighting, and bric-a-brac which Gary sources from auctions, estates sales, and other Long Island collectors.
WHERE 813 Carman Ave., Westbury
INFO 516-214-6960, li-pickers.com
Vintage Salvage & Supply Company
Sean and Michele Connolly, both in their 50s, grew up in Lynbrook, and opened their vintage shop in their hometown in April 2016. The space, originally a Rambler auto showroom built in 1926, features 12-foot-high tin ceilings and an expansive sense of history. For the couple, who live just down the street in a restored 1903 Victorian home, the business is very much a part of who they are.
"We source, shop, pick, and curate all of our inventory personally," says Sean. "In our shop you can find anything from a turn of the century oak scrivener's desk out of a Delaware courtroom to an actual truck door from a dairy farm in Massachusetts, which retains the original hand painted name of the business."
The shop is set up in room-like vignettes, because the owners say it lets customers imagines how vintage pieces can be incorporated into their homes and businesses. Says Sean, his shop is perfect for anyone "on the hunt for that unique one-of-a-kind vintage find."
WHERE 260 Merrick Road, Lynbrook
INFO 516-268-7211, facebook.com/vintagesalvageandsupply