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Bed-Stuy Boutique Adds Personal Touch With New Location

By Paul DeBenedetto | September 27, 2013 10:25am
 Vianova, an antique and vintage boutique in Bed-Stuy, has relocated to a second-floor apartment building.
Vianova Antique and Vintage Boutique in Bed-Stuy
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Two months after shuttering its original location, a Bed-Stuy antique and vintage boutique owned by a husband-and-wife team is moving to a second-floor "storefront" and adding a focus on personal shopping.

Vianova, owned by Colleen and Sebastian Vianova, left its Myrtle Avenue location because of what the couple described as a landlord dispute. Now, the shop is reopening just a few doors down, in an apartment at 711 Myrtle Ave., thanks to a former customer who owns the building.

The boutique is having a reopening party Friday night and will highlight appointment-based shopping, while continuing to sell antiques plus vintage and new clothes from local designers through their online store and Etsy shop, said Colleen Vianova, 32.

"It will be more of a personal experience," she said. "If someone calls up and has something they're looking for, we can pull together a bunch of pieces...You can put together a whole look."

The story of Vianova starts with the story of how the couple met. In the summer of 2011, after working in radio for seven years, German-born Sebastian Vianova quit his job, sold his belongings and planned on traveling the world, starting with New York.

He got as far as the Kosciuszko Pool in Bed-Stuy.

"He swam up to me and said, 'Hi, I'm Sebastian,'" Colleen Vianova said.

The couple was married in December of that year.

"I didn't even plan on staying here, and it just clicked," 29-year-old Sebastian Vianova said.

The two bonded over a mutual love of all things vintage. Colleen Vianova, who had amassed a large collection of vintage clothing, and Sebastian Vianova, who was a fourth-generation antique seller, decided to open their own Etsy shop, and eventually moved on to a brick-and-mortar store in June 2012.

The pair sells products ranging from low- to high-end, with a focus on quality, they said. Colleen Vianova runs clothing through the sewing machine to repair defects and imperfections, while her husband searches estate sales far and wide for antiques, some dating as far back as the 1800s.

It was those antiques that grabbed the attention of their new landlord.

"I just loved their taste," said Felipe Padraza, 68, who also runs a real estate business and a dance studio out of the building.

"I was envious of their other landlord. They had such a beautiful place. At one point I asked them to try it over here."

The new second-floor shop includes a backyard for performances and a hallway for showcasing work from local artists, like the featured artist on Friday, Chioma Ebinama. At the grand reopening, the couple is encouraging people to bring their own instruments for a backyard jam session 6-7:30 p.m.

And although much of the shopping will be appointment-based, the boutique will be open every Friday at 5 p.m., where the couple will serve free end-of-the-week drinks to shoppers.

The ultimate aim is to remain a fixture in the neighborhood they've come to love, the couple said.

"We've always believed in this area of Bed-Stuy," Colleen Vianova said. "I've lived here on and off since 2006. And we met here, so it's extra special."

Vianova's grand reopening party is Friday 5-10 p.m., at 711 Myrtle Ave. Free drinks and snacks will be served. For a full party schedule, click here.