By Gracie Donaldson
Susan Davila and Lisa Marchetti are best friends and entrepreneurs since the days of their childhood lemonade stands, set up in their hometown Bayside, Queens neighborhood — where they met at age three and lived next door to each other.
Fast forward to 2020, and Davila and Marchetti are still best friends and entrepreneurs, as the proprietors of My Beautiful Mess, a “unique boutique” touting everything from antiques, jewelry, furniture, candles, much-needed face masks, dog toys and treats, vintage toys, and products with a cause including organic bath and body products. Additionally, they welcome local vendors to sublet space in-store.
“Everything we do is inspired by a business vendor who creates something based on something that happened in their lives — a ‘beautiful mess,’” Marchetti explained. That philosophy goes for the customers who come in, too. “A lot of people come into the store and say, ‘Oh, my grandmother had this.’”
My Beautiful Mess opened in 2017 after Marchetti was on the hunt for a space to house the store for a number of months. Davila had already resided in Sea Cliff with her husband and daughters for several years, and Marchetti lived (and is still living) in Manhasset and was looking for store space nearby. However, it was Davila who found the building and inquired about housing the store at 60 Roslyn Avenue in Sea Cliff. On a drive around Sea Cliff with her daughter, she discovered the building was vacant, and then subsequently found herself in touch with the very same realtor who sold her the family’s home. The coincidence was just one sign that the storefront was the right place.
“We found it in November, and we opened in March,” Marchetti said. “I’ve made a lot of new friends. Susan’s lived in Sea Cliff for so long and now, she’s met half the town!”
In-store, My Beautiful Mess prides itself on selling antique goods, but also on serving as a space where both customers, staff and owners feel comfortable and creative. “There’s always somebody out there who can have another use for [an antique],” Davila said. “But [being at the store] is helping me get through what is going on in my life. You bounce things off your customers. They also come in to unwind and tell us their problems. They cry and unburden themselves.”
Local vendors who sublet space from My Beautiful Mess include Sorella Designs Ltd., Sea Cliff Hemp Company, Lauren B Design, Jamie Diamond Jewelry and Cheryl Bentyne and Ronnie Jenkins from The Three Tomatoes. Local clairvoyant Tori Quisling sets up shop at sidewalk sale events for discounted tarot card readings, and the store sells the written works of local author Cathi Turow.
“Small businesses are essential right now,” Davila said. “This is our perfect spot.”
In addition to supporting other small business owners through their work and throughout the difficulty brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, My Beautiful Mess gives back to several causes, chief among them, monthly donations to Smile Train and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Additionally, Davila and Marchetti make a special point to stock their shelves with goods which have a pure message. Humble Brands deodorants are all-natural deodorants, free of chemicals. Young Living Essential Oils are available for far-reaching health solutions, and are also naturally-made.
Within the local community, My Beautiful Mess holds memberships in North Shore Biz Network as well as in the Gold Coast Business Association. “Everyone [in the community] is down-to-Earth,” Marchetti said. “Everyone is positive.”
“The people here like being here,” Davila added. “They’re real people. No fakeness about it.”
As far as the future, the immediate goal of the My Beautiful Mess dynamic ownership-best friend duo is to remain a successful small businesss in the community in the wake of the pandemic.
“I would like to be the go-to for people who need a gift,” Marchetti said. “But, we’re going to ride this out. As long as we’re having a good time, we’re going to do it as long as we can. Of course I would love to be here forever, but as long as we can do it, we’re going to do it.”