Boutique’s local roots make it something special
When Envie opened its doors roughly seven years ago on Seventh Street in the Village of Garden City, it was with the idea of it providing a different career challenge for owner Christina Savalas Mamos. Having just come off of running her own graphic design firm, the local resident was looking for another creative outlet, particularly after tiring of the demands and pressures that came with doing website designs for American Express publications like Departures and B. Smith Style magazines.
“I had just wanted a creative outlet and I love fashion and design. I was previously a graphic designer. My daughters were finishing college and I wanted them with me here when they could be, so it would be like a family sort of thing,” she said in her store’s back office. “They did work here for a few years and now they both started families, so I’m basically here on my own. Little by little, it’s become a successful little endeavor. People are great and I love my customers. It’s really nice.”
Open six days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Sundays, Envie is located at 182 Seventh St. and is situated in an 1,100-square foot space. Originally set up to sell jewelry and accessories like Coeur De Lion, Michal Golan, Sayami and Rustic Cuff, this light and airy space has expanded into becoming a full-blown boutique after customers started requesting the store start selling clothing. Currently, Envie carries a number of fashion lines including Jack Meets Kate, Kerisma and Peppermint Bay. Mamos credits listening to her client base as a key component of her success as a retailer.
“We try to stay on top of the trends and cater to everybody’s needs. From middle school up to 80-something, you’ll always find something,” she said.
Adding to the homeyness of Envie’s decor are the handful of oil paintings hanging throughout the store walls that evoke a whiff of Picasso. Credit goes to Mamos’ late grandmother Christina Savalas, who passed away in 1988 and who moved to Garden City in the mid-1940s with her husband Nick. Here, she raised her four sons and a daughter that included actors Telly and George. For Mamos, her grandmother was a larger-than-life figure who represented the creative spirit reflected in her offspring and her in-law’s family.
“My grandmother had a house on Chestnut Street and she had art exhibits at the Garden City Public Library. She was always an artist—someone who was always creative, funky and ahead of her time. The entire time I knew her, she was always painting. It was mesmerizing and when you’d go to her house, there would be canvases, easels and paints everywhere,” Mamos recalled. “My entire family is like that. Everyone on my grandfather’s side of the family were like that, too. They were iconographers and painters who did a lot of the churches in the United States. The Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in California was done by them. There was a lot of art—no doctors or lawyers.”
Raised in Huntington and blessed with a strong family life, Mamos moved back to Garden City with her husband in the 1990s, where they raised their four children. The positive experience made the idea of opening Envie in the heart of the village a no-brainer. The small-town ambiance of the clientele has made it a rich and rewarding ride that she continues to revel in.
“I love Garden City. We had the opportunity to get the building that the store is in. I said that I wanted to try something and open it up. The reception from the people here was just so nice. It’s been wonderful meeting them and it’s almost like having therapy sessions with people here,” she said. “We were different when we first opened. But you have to listen and watch and see where your customers are going to with price points and styles. We just evolved into having something for everybody. It’s more than a store. We think of our customers and friends. We’re always very happy to see them. It’s a good thing.”
Visit www.envious.com to find out more about Envie.