New York is treasure trove of unforeseen pleasures and serendipitous surprises, not least of which is a chic boutique, Niquea.D on the Upper East Side. It seems that in this great city, all you need do is turn a corner to find a store you’ve never laid eyes on before or a bakery that's an offshoot of its Parisian parent. So it was with Niquea.D.
Intent upon visiting a friend laid up in the hospital, I was hurrying down Third Avenue last week when an artfully arranged display in the windows of a small boutique stopped me in my tracks: Niquea.D, what’s that all about?
The staff could not have been more welcoming, more engaging. Niquea.D (pronounced Ni-kwa-dee), is the brainchild of Dominique Schurman, who is the CEO of the Schurman Group, a collection of properties founded by her parents, including Papyrus, the greeting card line sold throughout the United States and Canada.
What You Will Find
Entering a shop chock-a-block with lovely items culled from all over the world was like entering a secret garden. As if I had stumbled upon Coleridge's "Kubla Khan": In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man, Down to a sunless sea.
To compound the feverish sensation, I should tell you that Niquea.D's logo is the unicorn, a mystical being that "inspires our dreams, foretells good and brings blessings of happiness.”
The array of products includes an extensive collection of jewelry--from urban chic leather wrist bands to over-the-top baroque necklaces--charming hats and handbags, signature candles, gaily-patterned throw pillows and a wide selection of paper goods—greeting cards, calendars, journals, wrapping papers, books and paperweights. There's even a delightful corner in which husbands can relax while wives are shopping.
What I Fell In Love With
At Niquea.D, you can ‘save’ on many items, ‘splurge’ on others. In the first category was an adorable clutch in the shape of a rose, the petals wide open, from the Nouveau Necessities Collection at $22—a perfect stocking stuffer—and colorful crystal bangle bracelets by Dame Designs at $45. What set my heart a flutter were the books on Paris and a number of glass decoupage trays inscribed with witty quotes: The best things in life are free. The second best are expensive—Coco Chanel.
Coco must be one of the most quoted women in the world. Indeed, one of my favorite quote's belongs to her: A girl should be two things; classy and fabulous. It's a high standard, I know.
Yet another glass tray had a quote from the inimitable Charley Brown: All you really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. My sentiments exactly.
Then, again, if you’re ready to splurge, a cuff bracelet—cuffs much in vogue this year--by Brilliant Strands Collection by Theia is quite an eye-catcher at $320. As is a more elaborate one from Tudor Collection by Gypsy Cuff, selling for $450. One cuff would be great, two better.
What Was Totally Unexpected
What’s lovely is that at Niquea.D, they help you host private parties—Girls’ Night Out? A Madcap Mademoiselle Soiree?—or charitable fundraisers, with a percentage of sales from the evening going to your favorite charity. The staff explained that services include custom-designed menus and light refreshments. By light, I think they meant cookies and beverages. However, if you are looking for something more substantial, you can bring in a caterer. Moreover, the event may include a silent auction and personal styling—if lucky, by their chief stylist, Edwin Munoz.
What’s the Story?
For years, their flagship property was in Danville, California but, recently, they opened the boutique at 76th Street and Third Avenue on the Upper East Side and a flagship property at 678 Hudson Street, at Fourteenth Street in the hip 'n’ happening Meatpacking District. (I have a fondness for the Meatpacking District, as my mother’s parents, who emigrated from Ireland, lived on Little West Twelfth--close by the slaughterhouses, the streets running with blood--most of their lives. Although they would move four times, they would never leave Little West Twelfth. Wouldn't they be surprised to see it now?)
For the most part, the Niquea.D boutiques are located within the Papyrus shops across the country. Large or small, according to promotional literature, their passion is combining old world elegance with new world enthusiasm.
So, let me ask you, have you finished your holiday shopping? If not, the staff at Niquea.D. stands ready to help.
PS: I have learned so much from my readers. For instance, the hyperlinks you see interspersed thru-out had been a suggestion from a reader who lives in Ushuaia, at the tip of South America, and loves to read in greater detail about the places mentioned in the blog-posts. If I'm mad for Paris, she's mad for New York.
Then, this week, thanks to another reader, I discovered that you while you can LIKE a post by clicking on the social media buttons, it's not possible to SHARE it. Oh, no! Is that true? As of yesterday, the problem has been turned over to my brilliant webmaster. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, should you want to SHARE this with your friends, all you need do is copy the link and post it to your Facebook Timeline. That's what she's been doing.
Of course, we want the site to be as user-friendly as possible. If you run into any problems negotiating it, please drop me a line and let me know. That's it for this week, gals and guys. See you next Sunday...Babs