Maison St. Germain Opens in Spacious Newest Location
by Linda Zukauskas | Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 6:00 amMaison St. Germain Opens in Spacious Newest Location
Debra Germain and Nicole Perez are enjoying the new elbow room at the larger incarnation of their store, Maison St. Germain, 738 Main St. South, Woodbury. (Zukauskas photo)
WOODBURY — Maison St. Germain, 738 Main St. South, has evolved, yet again.
What began as an idea sketched on a napkin, the vintage clothing, home accessory and gift store expanded to its present location in November.
Owner Debra Germain told Voices that she always loved decorating. “As a little kid, I was moving my room around, sewing and making things. It’s a real passion for me.”
Her daughter and co-owner, Nicole Perez, said that running the business is a combination of everything the women love to do.
“We shop, draw, paint, and decorate, but the best part is that customers enjoy what we offer. When they buy a piece, they love it. When they’re excited, we’re excited.”
Maison St. Germain’s Facebook page features photos that customers share after installing the items purchased in the boutique.
“We have so much fun when we come in here,” Ms. Germain pointed out.
“This is our happy place and we’ve made a lot of friends here.”
Ms. Perez added, “A lot of our customers come in to get inspired and we encourage them. We’re blessed that this all has worked out but, really, when we say we’re going to do something, we do it.”
When the pair decided that they wanted to open a shop together, they held a tag sale to raise the money they needed to start the business.
That 650-square-foot space was followed by a 1,700-square-foot store; now the shop occupies 3,300 square-feet of retail space in the former New Morning grocery store site.
“We needed the space and can now carry more clothing, modern as well as vintage for women and vintage clothing for men.”
The women personally select each item and their tastes have resonated with customers.
Gift items include unusual treats such as a hand cream that comes packaged in a piece of handmade pottery and is warmed before applying it to skin.
“It’s like a spa in your own home,” Ms. Perez commented.
There are scarves from various countries, fair trade handbags from Guatemala, spices from France and Kantha quilts made by hand from vintage saris.
Ms. Germain explained, “These are hand-stitched by mothers and daughters and no two are alike. The front and back coordinate but they are different.”
“Our touch is everywhere,” her daughter said. “The open floor plan is great and we can show off the furniture and other objects we create or recreate.”
Ms. Perez paints images of old cars and trucks and her mother creates interesting signs for home decor and images of flowers and chickens.
There are many items to see, including drawer pulls, rolls of vintage fabrics, old buttons, silver plate, and possibly the largest collection of vintage punch bowls in the state.
“The smaller bowls are known as Thumbelinas and held the children’s punch. You can use them for trifles or fruit salads.”
Ms. Germain noted that the display features several unique ideas to help customers envision how they might use their purchases.
She and Ms. Perez are also available to answer questions or help with design implementation; they offered their consulting services in creating entire rooms for those who visit Maison St. Germain.
The stock is always changing and there is a wide selection of shabby chic, antiques, industrial pieces, art and jewelry.
“We have hand-embossed leather journals with handmade paper and we’ll also create customer furniture to order.”
Ms. Germain said that she and her daughter have perfected techniques over time so that they can offer either inspiration to the energetic DIYer or a finished piece to a homeowner.
Unique items include large umbrellas that are those used by wedding couples riding elephants in India. “They’re so ornate, with sequins, embroidery, and fringe. They make any garden or patio beautiful.”
Silk rag rugs from India come in large and small sizes and sit just outside a small boutique within a boutique where the women feature a clothing line they design called Vintage Vixen.
Ms. Germain noted, “Vintage is so much fun and the quality is there. Plus, these pieces have history and character.
“We like to say we’re making the world beautiful one home at a time.”
Maison St. Germain is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
More information is available by calling 203-266-4223 or visiting www.maisonstgermain.com.