10/24/17 7:30am

A new fashionista has arrived on Liberty Street supporting the much needed retail component the business corridor sorely needs. Cream Boutique has been voted 2017 ‘Best Current Fashion for a Good Value’ by Hudson Valley Magazine. Morrocan born Amal Ishak (pronounced Em-el) has brought her love for clothes to one of the hottest corners of Liberty, diagonal to Washington’s Headquarters. She’s young, she’s eager and fun. Most of all, she is highly aware of her presence in a revitalizing city.

Educated in fashion retail, Amal worked in fashion retail for three years in Bergen County, NJ. The commute proved to be too long after having her second child. In an effort to be closer to home, Amal and business partner Vinny opened a children’s boutique in Chester called Karapouz Kidz. Being a native of New Windsor, Amal had dined many times at the Newburgh waterfront however, she had never ventured west of Front Street even though she had always admired Newburgh’s architecture. Her momentous move to the City of Newburgh came when she and her husband were trying to find a new restaurant to have dinner without having to drive all the way to NYC. She searched on Yelp and based on reviews the Liberty Street Bistro appeared. As Amal said, “we were beyond impressed. We walked down Liberty Street and felt the energy. I told my husband, whatever is going on here, I want to be a part of it!” Three months later Amal would open her first adult women’s boutique, Cream, at 188 Liberty Street, now relocated to 101 Liberty Street. In June 2017 Amal and Vinny would move their children’s boutique to 89 Liberty Street under the new name, Cream Kidz.

A clothing boutique could be successful in a downtown anywhere, so why the City of Newburgh? Amal says with a sense of responsibility, “because we needed something here.” She loves to boutique shop and hates the mall. She enjoys the personal relationship a boutique allows with clients when they are planning a big day or special event. Amal also admits, “I knew what I was getting myself into. I know I am not in Westchester. I wanted the challenge and I always knew I wanted to be part of the community. Before I opened the boutique I reached out to community organization, We Are Newburgh.” She meets with them once a week and volunteers at many of their events.

Amal wants everyone to feel welcome to shop at Cream and Cream Kidz. Prices are intentionally reasonable. At Cream, dresses are $29.99 and up, tops are $14.99 and up, and accessories run $12.99 and up. Customers can walk in and hear tunes from the Dave Matthews Band or Future. She also sells items through the Cream Instagram profile via direct messages. Cream collaborates with business owners for pop-up events in an effort to give them exposure to the area. Amal says, “after you come here for lunch or dinner you don’t want to jump in your car and go home. Cream enhances the experience of being in a downtown.” She hopes other business owners will take a chance on the city as well.

It’s remarkable to note that Cream’s profits almost entirely come from customer walk-ins, not the internet. Amal has been surprised how well the shop has done. However, her daily postings on Instagram and Facebook are what bring people into her shop. She has been told, “Wow I never expected to find someone like you in Newburgh.” When she ventures around the city, people recognize her or Amal recognizes women wearing her own merchandise.

Amal is hopeful, like the meaning of her name, she has hope for the City of Newburgh. We can’t wait to see you and your businesses grow.

Visit the shops:

Cream Kidz – 89 Liberty Street, hours: closed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 10-7, Friday & Saturday 10-8, Sunday 10-5
Cream – 101 Liberty Street, hours: closed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 10-7, Friday & Saturday 10-8, Sunday 10-5

10/17/17 7:30am

The place to meet people in Newburgh, Blacc Vanilla, had their grand opening this past weekend. The unusually warm October day was the perfect backdrop for their fall themed party. Live music and performances were held in the backyard garden. It was wonderful to see such a diverse crowd supporting owners, Melanie and J’Rod. Keep up the great work! To see inside the coffee shop, click here.

10/16/17 11:45am

Quietly a storefront on the east side of Liberty Street has been taking shape. Once used as an office, and rarely ever seen open, neighbors are getting excited to see paper up in the windows of 110 Liberty Street. Inside a lifestyle boutique is nearing completion. Owner, Michael Carter is ready to start collaborating with other brands to get the shop up and running. If you are interested, send an email to lowkeybougie@gmail.com, or check them out on Instagram here or here.

09/26/17 7:30am

Past the Flats on Liberty Street, a new coffee shop called Deja Brew is in the works. They will hold their grand opening this Saturday to showcase the coffee shop and artwork in conjunction with Newburgh Open Studios. The address is 15 Liberty Street, opening at 11 am.

SodaCova Group has restored the storefront from its conversion to an illegal apartment in an effort to bring retail and foot traffic south of Washington’s Headquarters. This section of Liberty Street actually has the most continuous retail and commercial spaces available along the business corridor. Some of the storefronts are apartments, others abandoned or unoccupied. There are also two factory/manufacturing spaces with endless possibilities and the Liberty Street School being developed by RipRapp.

SodaCova is putting their money where their mouth is by rehabilitating 2 Liberty Street, a building that was guaranteed to be torn down had they not come along. They are hoping to have the windows installed before winter, and to debut a new ground floor space next spring.

09/12/17 7:30am

I’ve been following a show called the Small Business Revolution that works with a chosen small town to develop local businesses and boost the local economy. If you have some time during your lunch break, check out this video that sums up what the show is about. Professionals help with marketing and other areas that a small business might overlook. It is quite competitive to be the selected town but fortunately, they share their methods and advice. Season 2 will be streaming soon. Newburgh can relate to these towns in many ways.

09/11/17 11:30am

This past Saturday was the soft opening of new coffee shop, blacc vanilla. Located at 197 South Street just east of Downing Park, this new meeting spot will soon be an anchor to the north end of the city and South Street. Decorated in a dark urban vibe, playing catchy tunes, blacc vanilla will easily draw you in to stay for a while. They will be open at 7am starting Monday, September 11th. There is a wonderful story behind this building and business. Can’t wait to share it with you soon!

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