Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda lived the days and nights of New York City to their fullest and always had the clothes to compliment everything the greatest city in the world had to offer. But it’s not only TV that is unable to keep time from rushing past, and many a city girl eventually exchanges the glamorous lights for the domesticated pace of family life. “The girl that was in the city is a mom now. She’s moved to Westchester,” says Kevin Matuszak, owner of Pookie&Sebastian, but it’s no longer necessary for her to sacrifice the lifestyle and look that his boutiques have always allowed her to express.
“We’re starting an extension into the suburbs,” he says, and Scarsdale is among the destinations.
As such, Matuszak can’t emphasize enough how the quality of his clothes and accessory lines move more than favorably along the curve against the price points. “It makes us completely different,” he says.
The back story of the store’s six outlets and 18 year existence doesn’t deviate either. Pookie and Sebastian were up and downtown Yorkies who fell in love under the roof of the Matuszaks’ Manhattan home and seamlessly sufficed for both the name and principal philosophy. “Basically we brought downtown clothing uptown,” he says of inventory that generally falls in line between Forever21 on the low end and Scoops on the super high end.
At the same time, there’s no expense spared in aligning customer service with the higher address numbers – no matter the locale. “We wardrobe every person that comes into the store from head to toe,” he says.
Then, whether they’re going on a date, starting a new life after a divorce or suiting up for a big interview, each customer amounts to their own personal demographic. “It’s all about how you see your lifestyle,” says Matuszak.
That amounts to having “something for everyone,” according to the owner. But Pookie’s “Wardrobe Consultants” are finely attuned to the idea that everyone might not know what that is at the moment and space is always allotted to the contemplative shopper. “If someone is browsing, they’re browsing,” he says, and if something sparks their interest and maybe a conversation ensues, Pookie still possesses enough confidence to hang back in hopes that they return next week for a second look.
Either way, Matuzak goes the distance to be on top of the latest trends. “The job encompasses sourcing and I’m all over the world. If we need a beaded item, I’ll go to India. We just did these beautiful leather sandals,” he says, “which I went to Indonesia for.”
But while the mileage adds up, it doesn’t deter his drive to be ahead of the spike in the next wave of pants suits or miniskirts. “I’m fascinated by the way a trend can take off,” he says.
Matuzak is also well aware of who his customers consider first when sporting a new outfit. “I think women are really cognizant of what the other woman thinks,” he reveals.
That’s not to say that women wardrobe without thinking of the opposite sex, and the hand Pookie&Sebastian have lent over the years, yield results he cannot deny. “There have been a lot of Pookie romances,” he says.
All settled in that area with his wife, who handles merchandising and store design, the couple has experienced an abundance of the next best thing across the 18 years. “We’ve become friendly with so many of our customers,” says Matuszak.
The move north certainly seems to point to more of the same. “I love Scarsdale,” he says, and the successful entrepreneur is certain that this “gorgeous town” will return the favor.