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