Rent Hike Forces Dusty Buttons Vintage Shop to Close at the End of July

Posted on: July 2nd, 2015 at 9:22 am by

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Photo: Dusty Buttons Facebook

Our hearts are broken over the news that Amanda Loureiro, owner of Dusty Buttons, is closing up shop after six years on East 9th street. Dusty Buttons is a favorite clothing and accessories store, featuring both vintage and new items. It was where we first discovered, among other things, the most perfect red lipstick (a life-long quest), and also a few pairs of killer (and comfortable) vintage style shoes.

Loureiro received a 30-day notice to vacate her shop (supposedly to allow for repairs), but with that, came a new lease with a massive 125 percent rent increase. Controversial landlord Icon Realty Management purchased the building last year and is up to the same old tactics.

Loureiro sent us her “Dear John Letter To the East Village,” which is now posted on Facebook:

On June 26th a day filled with such energy both good and bad around the world, a day that was marred by terrorist violence and also a day I was so proud of America for making marriage a right for all, I was also served a 30 day notice to vacate my little shop on E 9th.

The first time I heard from Icon Realty we were asked to vacate for an undisclosed amount of time to allow for repairs to the building, and also offered a new lease with a whopping unaffordable 125 percent increase for our less than 300 square foot store. Then with no more conversation came the 30 day notice to vacate. I knew this day would come. Icon bought our building last year, since then we have been looking for an affordable East Village storefront with no luck.

We opened Dusty Buttons 6 years ago in October, we moved once from across the street. My husband and I both live in the East Village, he’s been here since the bad old days of 1982. I ran away to NYC at 17 in 1992 to live with a boyfriend for a while, attracted to the creative energy and a feeling of anything could be possible for a odd young girl from a small New England town. The boyfriend and I broke up and I begrudgingly moved home, with a feeling that I would return one day.

It was 2009 when I returned, very different from 1992. But that energy was still here and we found an affordable rent for Dusty Buttons. I met amazing like minded creative people, became part of a neighborhood, joined the 6th and B community garden, and adored being part of a community. I have sold hundreds of stunning vintage dresses to fabulous vintage loving gals as well as US made and Fair Trade certified new dresses and new European made shoes.

I am so thankful and grateful to all the beautiful ladies that shopped with me over the years, so many with such interesting stories, dreams and ideas, I have learned an amazing amount about life from you all.

I have no idea the fate of my sweet stretch [of] block here on 9th, I wish my friends and neighbors success and much happiness, I will miss you all terribly!

Please keep checking our Instagram (dustybuttons) and our facebook for news. And who knows what will happen, maybe the rents will get better here in the EV. But for now sadly “the rent is too damn high!”

July 29th is probably our last day as we have to be out by the 31st, there will be a sale. Come by and say farewell, I can’t promise to not be tearful because this little shop was my baby, and saying goodbye will hurt like hell.

Dusty Buttons will remain open until July 29, but check the Facebook page to read the full letter, and also for further updates. We wish Loureiro nothing but the best. This is a sad loss for the neighborhood; yet another piece of the community will be gone. According to the letter, Loureiro and her husband might open up shop in Philly, where “the rents are lower and a creative energy feels full and strong.”

So sad that one cannot say this about most of NYC these days.

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