By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
Peruvian Connection, a woman’s clothing store at 341 Columbus Avenue (West 76th Street), closed on December 10th. Its products are made from alpaca and Peruvian pima cotton and are still available through the company’s catalogs, call center, and website. The company was founded in 1976 and opened its Columbus Avenue store in 2015. “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for your loyalty and for contributing to the charm of our Columbus Avenue shop over the past 9 years,” Annie Hurlbut, one of the company’s co-founders, posted in a sign on the storefront.
West Side Rag spoke to a store clerk who said employees were not given a reason for the closing and were informed three weeks ago. The UWS Peruvian Connection was the only one in New York. Other stores can be found in Washington DC, Santa Fe, Chicago, and Kansas City. “It will be sorely missed,” wrote tipster Marianne in an email to West Side Rag. “Their handcrafted unique pieces in beautiful natural fabrics, the warm family-type atmosphere with such personal attention to their customers – they would fix my items for free if I had a little pull or hole in them.” (Thanks also to Barbara for the tip.)
My Little Magic Shop, a pop-up store and event space dedicated to self-care, motivation, and positive thinking, has opened at 697 Amsterdam Avenue (West 94th Street). This spiritually minded shop sells crystals, candles, and jewelry – among other home goods and “manifestation tools” – and hosts workshops that aim to help people self-actualize. My Little Magic Shop was founded by Shereen Campbell, who practices Reiki (a Japanese form of energy healing) and astrology. “My Little Magic Shop was born in 2015 from a deep desire to help others navigate the complexities of life and discover their inner strength through alternative methods of self-care,” Campbell wrote in a statement to WSR.
Prior to the opening, My Little Magic Shop was an online-only business. The arrangement for the pop-up, which runs through September 2024, was made through ChaShaMa, an organization that works with real estate owners to create temporary art galleries and pop-ups for small businesses. ChaShaMa did an open call for businesses in the neighborhood that would engage with the community, explained Liz Kruth, who manages small business initiatives at ChaShaMa. Though My Little Magic Shop’s methods are not for everyone, “I think people should stop in anyway and give it a shot,” said Kruth. “Shareen is a wonderful person and businesswoman, and a very positive influence. I think it’s a very exciting and fun store.” The space is open Wednesday through Sunday. Check website for hours. On Fridays, there is a group meditation practice at 6 p.m.
Bond Vet opened its third Upper West Side location at 2875 Broadway (West 112th Street) on December 11th (the other two locations are at 352 Amsterdam at West 77th Street and 2461 Broadway at West 91st Street). Bond Vet offers primary and urgent care veterinary services, including wellness exams, vaccines, spay/neuters, surgeries, and dental cleanings. Bond Vet also offers same-day appointments and weekend hours. The veterinary conglomerate opened its first clinic in 2019 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and now has 22 locations in New York City. It also has locations in Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Washington DC, Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey. Bond Vet was founded on the idea that pet owners should be able to have access to urgent care and get medical questions answered quickly without having to wait for an appointment. They also offer virtual visits and phone conversations. Bond Vet donated all profits from opening day of its new UWS location to the cat rescue organization Little Wanderers NYC.
LaserAway, a hair removal and skin care salon, is opening at 2780 Broadway at the corner of West 107th Street. LaserAway performs minimally-invasive treatments in aesthetic dermatology, such as botox, different types of facials, dermal fillers, and “thermage” (radio frequency treatments that can smooth and tighten skin), among other services. There are nearly 150 LaserAway facilities across the country, including several in New York City. The storefront has been vacant for the past couple of years, but it was most recently the Bank Street Bookstore. (Thanks to Tracy for the tip.)
Heatwise, a hot yoga studio, is opening at 164 West 80th Street (between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues) in February or March of 2024. Infrared heat is used to get the room up to around 98 degrees, according to the company’s website. While classes are vinyasa-style, the emphasis is less on “becoming an expert yogi” and more about “leaving with a smile on your face,” said Ben Kopelman, co-owner of Heatwise, in a call with WSR. Kopelman runs Heatwise with his wife, Samantha Scupp, who founded the business in 2017. “[Scupp] used hot yoga as a healthy way to de-stress. I really think there are equal parts physical health and mental health to what we’re trying to do,” he said.
The UWS location will be Heatwise’s fourth studio in New York City and especially meaningful to Kopelman since he grew up in the neighborhood and still has family here. “We’re a true mom and pop business,” said Kopelman. They’re raising two young kids in the city. The new studio will have space for group classes of about 25 to 30 people. (Thanks to Tierney for the tip.)
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