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Down To The Very Thread

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

When a bride comes in, they can either peruse through one of the 85 dresses Vastra has in-house or work with the owner Poonam Jain (Prachi’s mother) to come up with a one-of-a-kind design. Brides can choose every single detail, including the color, fabric, beading and pattern.

“It helps the bride have a say in the dress down to the very thread. Brides can take control of the whole process,” says Prachi. “They love the hand-embroidery because it gives them a lot more control over the dress. When you pick something up at the store, you have to deal with the designs, but with a hand-crafted custom dress, you can choose every layer of the embroidery.”

The dress design is then sent to Vastra’s 30 person factory in New Delhi where it takes anywhere from three to six months to complete. During that time, brides can Skype to check up on the progress of their dress.

Brides make up 70 percent of Vastra’s clientele and while for a long time they were strictly of Indian or South Asian origin, there’s been a huge increase recently in American brides.

“We have a lot more brides who are marrying into Indian families,” says Prachi. “A lot of them know what they want, but if they don’t we guide them as to what they should wear and the customs and rituals.”

Brides often opt for Indian dresses such as lehengas or saris for the day of the wedding and anarkalis and patialas for other ceremonies. Bridesmaids are often outfitted in salwars. Because an Indian wedding typically consists of several ceremonies over a few days, a bride will often leave Vastra with three dresses for herself, plus one or two for each of her bridesmaids (the average is 11 dresses per bridal party). Bridesmaids’ dresses generally range from $250 to $800 each and the bride’s dresses can range from $1,500 and up.

But for Poonam, the brides and their families are more than just customers, they become friends. Since opening her store in 1989, Poonam has formed a close bond with many of her clients who have come back time and time again, attending their weddings, sweet 16s and other functions.

“The customers don’t just come in and go out, but we get to know them one on one. We develop a strong relationship with the client because we spend a lot of time with them,” says Prachi. “They’re not just customers but friends.”

Vastra is located at 17 E. Old Country Rd, Hicksville in the Delco Plaza Shopping Center. For more information visit www.vastrahicksville.com or call 516-433-7724.

News

Bullying is a serious problem in today’s society and the controversial topic was the focus at last Saturday’s  'Bully-Proof Your Child Seminar’ at East Coast MMA & Fitness Center in Hicksville. State Senator Jack Martins and Legislator Rose Marie Walker attended the program which ran in the newly renovated center on Woodbury Road.

“Bullying is a real issue in our communities and I want to thank East Coast Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness for agreeing to host this forum,” said Martins. “Teaching our kids self defense to protect themselves or to protect those around them is a great thing. We need to take every opportunity to teach our kids important life lessons.”

Old classmates reignited friendships and shared memories of their teenage years as the Hicksville High School Class of 1964 came together recently to celebrate their 50th reunion at the Holiday Inn in Plainview.

Among the attendees was Bob Cheeseman who met his wife, Lorraine (Kirwan) in middle school. They were serious throughout high school and married soon after. Bob said, “I enlisted in high school and went into the Air Force. I did 30 years active Air Force and another 15 after that. I retired in 2010 as a Brigadier General. After I retired, my wife received a certificate from the Governor of Texas and was designated a Yellow Rose of Texas.”


Sports

The Hicksville boys volleyball team improved to 3-3 on the season by topping Sewanhaka in three sets by the scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-13.

“We lost the first few matches this year but bounced back to win the last three,” said Hicksville’s second year Head Coach Kevin Bunting. “We have a young team — we lost three starters last year. We have no seniors on this team, but we have three juniors,” he added. Bunting noted that it will bode well for next year’s team when they have even more experience to build on.

It seemed to happen in an instant.

Hicksville forward Michael Osmundsen was touching the ball past Kellenburg goalkeeper Jack Abuin to slot the ball into an empty net to score the lone goal in the non-league 1-0 victory over the Firebirds.

It’s nothing short of what Comets boys soccer head coach Scott Starkey would expect. He described his forward as “very explosive, fast and he’s not just fast — he’s tenacious.”


Calendar

Community Council Meeting

October 2

Indoor Garage Sale

October 5

Movie: God’s Not Dead

October 5



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com