Spend a few decades at the helm of Dior Beauty public relations, a globe-trotting gig that entailed wrangling spokes-royalty Sharon Stone and Charlize Theron, and you develop a discerning eye for miracle crèmes and luxe lipsticks. No wonder Dianne Vavra knew exactly what she wanted to stock in her new Huntington, LI, boutique.
Opened in March, Vavra New York is already attracting a diverse, dialed-in customer base thanks to its beauty assortment — a curated mix of cult fragrances, clean skin-care products and a smattering of makeup.
“I’m getting women and men who really love discovering new brands,” says Vavra, a native New Yorker who spent her formative teen years on the Upper East Side. “I had a guy come in today and purchase three Ilona Beauty Budapest Cocktail masks and Kari Gran sunscreen for a trip he’s taking to Portugal.”
Other best sellers? “Flora Mirabilis face oil is the No. 1 hostess gift, by far,” Vavra notes. “The packaging is gorgeous.” She’s had to reorder Winnøw Clean By Design, a CBD-fueled face cream, twice, and has a waitlist for Soma Ayurvedic Jasmine Body Oil and Ashlie Johnson Dark Rose Body Scrub on backorder. One breakout hit Vavra wasn’t expecting is Aleph, a New Zealand-based makeup brand for which she’s the sole US retailer.
“I wasn’t sure how it would do, given that it’s not really known here,” she says. “But every single person who enters the shop purchases at least one piece. It’s easy to apply, multipurpose, sustainable, vegan and gluten-free.”
The boutique has also become the go-to spot for vintage accessories, from a killer bejeweled cuff to a gently loved Chanel bag. And that “treasure chest” filled with $10 trinkets? It’s blowing up on TikTok.
Though Vavra continues to do p.r. for a handful of brands under the banner of Spotlight Beauty, and sells her own Le Trench coats at Vavra New York, she’s utterly loving her new life as a shopkeeper.
“It’s an honor to be considered a resource after all my years in the industry, seeing and trying everything,” she says. “I only carry brands I know inside out and personally love, and it’s so fun to see people’s eyes light up.”