Christina Ellul needed a boost to fulfill her “childhood dream”, she says. After the 27-year-old was made redundant from her job in the fashion industry during the pandemic, she decided to open a clothing store in her hometown of Wantagh called DCD Boutique.
“I saw Cricuts were on sale at Michaels, so I bought one,” she says of starting her business, which specializes in custom clothing and accessories. She was originally inspired by her late grandmother to delve into fashion. “She was always this little fashionista,” and her shopping partner, she says.
Initially launched as an online-only store, a storefront was the next step in her new career, she explains, “to help me grow.” It opened in September.
DCD Boutique is built on custom apparel for adults, kids and pets through ice tie dye and traditional tie dye, acid wash, embellishments, screen prints and decals, all done handmade by Ellul. Shoppers can also bring the handwriting or portrait of a loved one’s pet to be transferred onto an item sold at the store. The customization options here are similar to what one would find online, through Etsy, and other manufacturer selling platforms.
With DCD Boutique – the name stands for Design, Create, Donate – it also aims to give back. “I wanted to get the message out – you design, I create and we donate,” she says, adding, “What makes people feel good, but buying clothes and that’s also going towards something good?” Ellul says she donates 10% of her profits to a new charity every month.
When not creating designs by hand, Ellul uses a Cricut or heat press, primarily to customize garments in the store that are “flat”, i.e. not crocheted or textured.
You’ll also find home (candles, bath tubs, mugs, wine glasses, wall art), personal care (lip care sets, spa kits, body scrubs), jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets), accessories (slippers, hair clips, headbands, bags) and a top-selling personalized bridal section with denim jackets, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts and trinkets, such as champagne flute sets, mug sets, hangers, ring dishes, jewelry and more.
At DCD, customers can get accessories, like hair clips, for $3 and a layered necklace for $52. Clothing starts at $15 for a t-shirt and $85 for a beaded denim jacket. Add $5 for pocket decals and $10 for full screen prints.
DCD Boutique is at 2215 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh. It’s open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from noon to 6 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; designcreatedonate.com.