Clad in her blue work suit, her black hair kept out of her face by a red bandanna, Rosie the Riveter, as she was depicted in 1940s workforce recruitment posters, quickly became an American icon and a symbol for independence.
Amy Miceli of Bellport, still finds the symbol relevant. When she fulfilled one of her own dreams by opening up a boutique last year, she plastered it with the familiar portrait and called it Rosie’s Handmade Revolution.
“It’s for Rosie the Riveter,” she said. “It’s from back in the '40s and '50s when they were telling women they had to make things like weapons. The whole ‘We Can Do It’ thing goes along with the handmade aspect of the shop.”
Miceli, 29, said she opened the boutique as a way to showcase and support independent designers like herself. Miceli said that even after earning sewing certifications from the University of Rhode Island and a two-year stint at the Rhode Island School of Design, she found it difficult to find stores that would sell her clothing designs.
Miceli said she opened the store in April and selects merchandise primarily from four designers. She sells women’s clothing and accessories, handcrafted leather belts and jewelry, children’s clothes, select vintage and reworked furniture, and other odds and ends, like stationary and artwork she features on the walls. She also has a dessert and coffee bar, stocked with cupcakes from the Caffe Portofino in Northport.
Miceli says her philosophy extends beyond the merchandise she sells in the shop, located on South Country Road in Bellport Village. She holds weekly workshops on Thursday evenings where she teaches lessons in sewing, knitting and other crafts. She also recently started offering private lessons in things like sewing and draping, and she even has a class for teens on how to design their own prom dresses.
She said she started the classes because she had read that during the recession, people out of work had turned back to their initial passions, which she realized for many, was an art form.
“You want to know how to do things so you can do them yourself,” she said. “Whether it be for economic reasons or because you want to further your artistic abilities.”
“So why, 'Revolution,?’” asked one woman taking Miceli’s sewing class on Thursday night, referring to the store’s name.
Miceli said she thinks the consumer climate is changing and that more and more people are interested in buying handmade items, and not something that is sold by a corporation and produced in factories.
“I feel like there is a revolution going on,” she said.
Watch the video to learn more about the store's Thursday workshops, and visit Rosie’s Handmade Revolution Facebook page or call 631-803-8029 for a schedule.