Taylor Lamerand

With the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival 50th anniversary just around the corner, it seems that everyone in Sullivan County is jumping on the hippie bandwagon. Not to discredit the excitement buzzing around the county in anticipation, but SC has an original ‘Funky Hippy Chic’ with a story that deserves to be told.
 

It was a cold rainy evening as I ventured toward Monticello to interview Patti Greco Sunshine, owner of The Funky Hippy Chic Boutique. However, as soon as I walked through the doors, I experienced nothing but warmth and sunshine. I was taken aback by a rainbow of garments, the light dancing off the stunning silver jewelry on display and the radiant energy of the shopkeeper, Sunshine herself. She was strumming her guitar until she saw me. Immediately, she hopped up, embraced me and welcomed me to her boutique.

Wood from her grandfather's farmhouse that once stood in the same place as Sunshine's boutique.  placed on pieces of wood from her grandfather's farmhouse that once stood in the same place as Sunshine's boutique. 

She asked if I wanted to look around before we sat down to talk—how could I refuse? Every garment, necklace and trinket in her boutique told a story of several cultures. In just five minutes, I took a trip around the world. I could’ve spent an hour or more admiring the eccentricity of her items, but I was eager to sit down and talk to the woman who started it all.
 

“I love fashion,” Sunshine said, “and I love unique fashion, so it’s not like it’s main-stream here.” And she was right about that. I got the sense that her boutique is an extension of herself, a declaration of individualism that is hard to come by these days. She is always working on presenting her garments in ways that have not been done before, inspiring the women who shop there to reach out of their comfort zones. Her goal is to give her customers a fun experience and a funky, original outfit that complements their personalities. 
 

Sunshine has always had a sense of style that was her own, but she recalls when she truly began to grow into it. In her early 20s, she worked as a singer, headlining cruise ships. Experiencing warmer climates than she was used to, she began to dress in flowing skirts and dresses made of light material. Whenever the ship would pull into a port, the passengers and co-workers would follow her just to see where she bought her clothing. This was when she noticed that her style was something other people admired and wanted.
 

 “I always said, while walking around on the islands, that one day I would have my own boutique,” she recounts.

Sunshine’s mother had always been a big influence in her life and inspired her sense of style. Her mother was a seamstress who crafted beautiful and original gowns for her to wear. So, from an early age, Sunshine enjoyed having a style that wasn’t owned by anyone else. Her mother encouraged her not to blend in and to revel in expressing herself through fashion.

Carefully crafted outfits featured in Sunshine's boutique. She enjoys putting outfits together and finding different patterns that complement each other well.

She asked if I wanted to look around before we sat down to talk—how could I refuse? Every garment, necklace and trinket in her boutique told a story of several cultures. In just five minutes, I took a trip around the world. I could’ve spent an hour or more admiring the eccentricity of her items, but I was eager to sit down and talk to the woman who started it all.
 

“I love fashion,” Sunshine said, “and I love unique fashion, so it’s not like it’s main-stream here.” And she was right about that. I got the sense that her boutique is an extension of herself, a declaration of individualism that is hard to come by these days. She is always working on presenting her garments in ways that have not been done before, inspiring the women who shop there to reach out of their comfort zones. Her goal is to give her customers a fun experience and a funky, original outfit that complements their personalities. 
 

Sunshine has always had a sense of style that was her own, but she recalls when she truly began to grow into it. In her early 20s, she worked as a singer, headlining cruise ships. Experiencing warmer climates than she was used to, she began to dress in flowing skirts and dresses made of light material. Whenever the ship would pull into a port, the passengers and co-workers would follow her just to see where she bought her clothing. This was when she noticed that her style was something other people admired and wanted.
 

 “I always said, while walking around on the islands, that one day I would have my own boutique,” she recounts.

Sunshine’s mother had always been a big influence in her life and inspired her sense of style. Her mother was a seamstress who crafted beautiful and original gowns for her to wear. So, from an early age, Sunshine enjoyed having a style that wasn’t owned by anyone else. Her mother encouraged her not to blend in and to revel in expressing herself through fashion.

Patti Greco Sunshine, soaking in the sun under her favorite tree on the property.

“My grandfather bought this property for his father in the late 1920s,” she said, referring to the boutique’s location and its surrounding land. The farmhouse and property had once been part of a large farm surrounded by hotels, boarding houses and bungalow colonies. Sam Chanin, her grandfather, was a cab driver in New York City who would vacation in the Catskills during the summers. Knowing that other folks did the same, and having to still make a living, her grandfather built three bungalows to rent to vacationers. He also had a stand on the corner of Thompsonville and Chalet Roads where he sold candy, soda and newspapers. He sometimes sold cans of Coke with “hooch” in them to the handymen working at the nearby bungalow colonies.

“People asked me why I came back home when I could’ve gone anywhere in the world. It’s this land, this property,” Sunshine said full-heartedly, “I feel the most grounded here.”

Having her boutique be at the heart of where everything began for her has been a blessing. She enjoys walking barefoot around the property, playing guitar and singing for customers, and helping women find their confidence and individuality through fashion.

In addition to finding unique, beautiful garments and jewelry, a trip to The Funky Hippy Chic Boutique is like a journey through the past. This boutique is so much more than just a place where customers can shop; it’s a whole experience of what the Catskills used to be and what they continue to be. Patti Greco Sunshine and her boutique are timeless and represent what small, locally owned businesses should strive to be.

Groovy man Groovy!! If you like one of a kind, head turning style....I invite you to visit The Funky Hippy Chic Boutique! It is like taking a trip around the world with unique Clothing, Jewelry and Home goods. Funky, fun, bohemian and 60's inspired. Feminine clothing that flows with color, comfort and texture. You will find original one of a clothing designed and handmade by Patti (The Funky Hippy Chick), Tops, Jean Skirts and wide leg Jeans, along with bags from Nepal, hand made paper journals, silk scarves from India, Baja’s from Mexico, Kaftan's from Africa, Fabulous Mexican blankets, African Mud Cloths, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, bags and perfect items, Hand dipped incense, wonderful selection of long wrap tie dye skirts, Indian and African prints, 60's inspired! Hand tie dyed candles, Mugs from Mexico, pottery from Morocco...original Sculptures...tapestries....Joshua’s Tree’s centerpieces, lamps and Menorah’s all made from nature...Men's bajas, poncho’s and Gheri shirts...great gift items ranging from $8-$250...your choice! Who said fabulous unique fashion has to cost a lot...stop by...say hello and see for yourself!

It all started back in the early 80's when my singing career took me for trips around the world. I was always drawn to ethnic clothing and jewelry, but my travels really brought all these things to the forefront for me. I was  being introduced to many different cultures and loving it! I began to adopt their unique styles and infused them into what I was already wearing. Soon, my funky hippy chic style was born. Ethnic, World influenced, Feminie, Colorful, and most of all Comfortable with a Bohemian flair! Folks were always asking me where I got my clothes....so after many years of thinking about it, my wonderful husband said, why don't we open a boutique! So we did. The first was small and I just sold jewelry and a few dashiki's and baja shirts, the second was in the front of our Restaurant Luzon Station Eatery and Saloon in Kauneonga Lake NY (Home of the original Woodstock of 1969), Now we are exactly where we need to be, on our very own piece of land surrounded by the natural beauty that is Sullivan County. We like to host tie dye parties, Angel Card Readings, painting classes, yoga classes and musical happenings are certain to occur! We are always looking for new ways to bring beautiful people together.....all with the same thing in mind......Let's Take A Trip Around The World!  

Hand made clothing from Nepal, Africa and India selected for its unique appearance and ease of wear. Colorful, bold, flowing feminine fabrics that have a style and flair that will turn heads. You won't see yourself coming and going in this clothing. Great gift items that are handmade and personal. Hand Made Paper Journals, Lama bags that are hand painted and tye dyed. Unique ethnic jewelry from India, Nepal, Africa, Egypt and Peru. Hand dipped incense and lotions. A new line of Salts for the culinary artist in your home. In keeping with our trip around the world, we have our Casa Blanca room that features Moroccan platters, Tagines, Spice Tagines, ceramic bowls, Pitchers, wine coolers and flower pots.