Nine years after opening in Dunedin, Fla., the Hamptons-inspired finally has a Southampton shop, selling refurbished vintage furniture and ladies apparel for coastal living as well as shell-encrusted decor pieces designed and handcrafted by owner JoAnna Mincarelli.
Located on Jobs Lane in Southampton Village, opened its doors on May 13. Mincarelli named her stores after her daughter, who was 9 years old when the first Erika's Place opened in November 2003. Now Erika is old enough to run things at the Tampa Bay-area store while her mother is in Southampton for the summer.
Mincarelli is originally from Fresh Meadows, Queens, and owned a home for a time in Westhampton. She started refurbishing furniture and creating custom shell decor pieces at age 15. She sold items here and there over the years but hadn't entertained the thought of doing it full time until she was laid off from her job working in the title insurance business, she told Dunedin Patch in 2011.
“It was really difficult to interview for jobs when your leg is in a cast,” said Mincarelli, who had broken her ankle in several places. “So my mother encouraged me to open a boutique.”
Her mother, children's clothing designer Rose Chylinski, now makes baby clothes for Erika's Place.
Mincarelli told Southampton Patch on Tuesday that she saw a niche in the Hamptons that wasn't being filled. "I've been saying it for years — there's nothing there like my store."
She spent two weeks last summer scouting Hamptons villages and hamlets for the right place to open store a store, and ultimately settled on Southampton Village. She explained that she found other areas on the South Fork were either too congested, not busy enough, too small, or too corporate for her store to fit in.
She said Southampton is like a larger version of Dunedin — it's by the water, a walking community, and there are lots of mom and pop shops, rather then Fifth Avenue stores. And because the peak seasons in Dunedin and the Hamptons run opposite, she can manage one or the other depending on the time of year, she said.
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Erika's Place II is open for the summer Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 631-283-6126 or visit Erika's Place II on Facebook.
Learn about more shops new to Southampton Village: