We are all about shopping local and finding the best resources for families in Northern Westchester on ABC NY Moms, so we were thrilled when we heard about Trendmat, a cute new micro boutique offering on-trend accessories for women and girls would be opening in Millwood Plaza. Created by Sarah Shapiro, Trendmat is a former Fotomat film processing kiosk that has been reimagined into a 4×7 foot accessories mecca.
Due to its small size, Sarah utilized every square inch and stocked the space to the brim with must-have accessories including: jewelry, headbands, bows, scrunchies, clutch bags, guitar-style bag straps, fringe embellishments for lace-up shoes, custom-order acrylic necklaces, and more. As Sara noted, “At Trendmat, I want our guests to feel like they’re raiding a friend’s closet. I’ve personally selected evert piece in the boutique, with an eye towards trendy, wearable and affordable fashion. And nothing is over $120.” Read on to learn more about Sarah and this hip new boutique in our latest Meet a Mom interview:
Meet Sarah of Trendmat
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in your town?
I grew up in Harrison, New York. After college I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I moved to Chappaqua when my eldest son was 1.5 yrs old. I have lived in Chappaqua for 5.5 years now
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m absolutely obsessed with collecting sea glass at the beach. Like, I really nerd-out about it. I could spend hours wandering in the surf with my head down looking for sea glass. It’s actually very relaxing, almost meditative.
I even follow sea glass fanatics on Instagram. HOWEVER, I do not believe in turning it into jewelry (or anything else for that matter). I just keep it in dishes all around my home.
Tell us more about Trendmat!
TRENDMAT is my dream come true. Literally. After college I lived on the Upper East Side and I loved all the little independent boutiques in the neighborhood. I used to tell friends and family that one day I wanted to have a tiny shop. The kind where shoppers would stop in for an inexpensive treat: cute undies, or some fashion jewelry or stationary items. In my imagination the shop was always small. Not TRENDMAT small, but small.
I never really allowed myself to run with the dream because I don’t have a business or retail background and it just seemed like an enormous financial risk.
Trendmat is a converted fotomat. Did you instantly have the vision that the space would be a micro, accessories boutique?
No. As soon as I saw the “For Rent” sign I knew that I absolutely wanted the space. I was thinking maybe a stationary store, but it quickly evolved into accessories.
I was going to focus just on accessories for women, but when I asked our community page on Facebook (Chappaqua Moms) there was a big push for girls and teens as well. So, now, I try to shop for all ages. The inventory will continue to evolve as I meet more customers. We just opened recently — the week before Easter.
How are you reaching moms in the community?
After college I worked in Public Relations, but SO much has changed since I left the field. Social Media outreach is critical and it’s become more sophisticated than I realized. TRENDMAT has a Facebook page @TRENDMATNY, an Instagram handle @trend_mat, and a website: shoptrendmat.com
The website is not e-commerce, just informational. As of now, my sole focus is the brick and mortar boutique. Therefore, all my outreach has been focused on reaching folks that live in the towns nearby. I hosted local influencer/media appointments at my shop before it opened, and many have since featured TRENDMAT.
The boutique was also featured in the May issue of Westchester Magazine, and I hope to also have it featured in local newspapers and television (in the near future).
I posted information on the opening of the boutique on the “Chappaqua Moms” Facebook page, which is a tremendous resource that reaches over 11,000 people.
As soon as I had rented the kiosk (in January), I started my Instagram handle, and I have since learned that people have been following it for months. When they arrived during my first week, many of them knew exactly what they wanted to buy. It worked out perfectly. As a former publicist, it’s great to see the power of PR in action!
What can customers expect at Trendmat?
My boutique is all about fun! Lots of color and lots of stuff that you might not need, but you certainly want. If your wardrobe is a cupcake, TRENDMAT items are the frosting and sprinkles.
I have several options to punch up accessories that you already own. Sneakers, add FRINGE. A handbag, switch in a new guitar-style strap. Summery straw bag, add a giant pom pom tassel.
Shoppers will also find, bracelets to mix and match. Delicate CZ necklaces and earrings, set in sterling silver, that look WAY more expensive they are.
Hair accessories for girls and women. Scrunchies are back, but this time with a little bow embellishment. Turban-style headbands are a must for summer. Nothing is over $120.
What can we expect to find in the space?
I utilized every square inch and stocked the space to the brim with must-have accessories including: jewelry, headbands, bows, scrunchies, clutch bags, guitar-style bag straps, fringe emblishmenets for lace-up shoes, custom-order acrylic necklaces, and more.
As a new business owner and mom, what are some of your go-to organizational tips.
I’m old-school. I like to put things down on paper. To keep my family organized, we have an oversize kraft paper calendar that hangs in our kitchen. I buy a new one every year from Paper Source. In an instant I can see what next month looks like, what the next week looks like and if we have plans over the weekend.
If I have trouble sleeping, because a million to-dos or new ideas are swirling in my head, I come downstairs and write it all down in a notebook. I just make a list of what I need to tackle the next day. Once it’s on paper, it almost magically slides out of my head and I can drift off to sleep.
Why was it important to open a store locally?
I absolutely love shopping for people I know, and meeting new people that live nearby. Also, selfishly, as a mom, it’s really super nice to work so close to home. It takes me about 11 minutes to drive from my house to TRENDMAT.
What are some of the challenges you are facing as a mom and business owner?
I didn’t really understand the amount of work and time that it would take to get TRENDMAT up and running. I have been at home with my boys since they were born and I’ve never had to balance the two sets (work and home) of responsibilities before. It’s challenging.
Also, TRENDMAT is one-woman-show. I wear all the hats, and it will be what I make it. If I devout more time and energy to TRENDMAT, that means less time and energy for my children. It’s the classic “Catch 22.”
What are some of your favorite me time things to do in your area?
I’m a chair massage girl. If I have a free moment, you will find me face down in a massage chair. I was very pleased to discover that there are great masseuses at Paradise Nails in Millwood. It’s in the very same shopping center (Millwood Plaza) as TRENDMAT. I’ve quickly become a regular client.
I also love to meet friends for breakfast at Le Jardin in Chappaqua and, of course, shopping! My favorite local boutiques for clothing are: LUXE in Armonk, Fado in Katonah and Whim in Mt. Kisco.
What are some of your favorite things to do with your kids in your area?
My boys are very active, so you’ll find us at Rocking Jump if it’s cold or raining. If it’s warm, we love the Chappaqua Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. On Sunday mornings we drive up to the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT, which is also outdoors. There are lots of food trucks and treasures to be found for all ages.
We also adore Muscoot Farm and Stone Barns. I consider both of those to be local gems. If we go to Muscoot, King Kone is not to be missed.
What are some of your future visions for your business?
Ask me again in a few months. Ha! I’m just so happy to be open and to be visited by folks that are either excited to shop or curious about the space. TRENDMAT is a “small business” in every sense of the phase. This might be controversial, but I would be very happy to keep it small.
Right now it allows me to balance work and family, which is wonderful. Perhaps when my boys are both school-age, I will start looking for more empty kiosks to expand. But, for the time being, I am very happy to be right where I am.
Visit Sarah at Trendmat
230 Saw Mill River Road, 11 Kiosk