By Adam Pincus
“It is narrow, but the ceilings are high. We use the ceilings to our advantage,” shop owner Daniel Glasser said.Glasser, 29, and Tara Andrus, 28, opened Stray Vintage and Gifts, at 48-09 Skillman Ave. last month. Taking their cue from similar upstate stores, the petite store sells a mixture of antiques and rustic gifts such as candles, picture frames, jewelry and vintage clothing. Some of the items are made locally.”We are collectors,” Glasser said. “We have always been into going to thrift shops, these small places upstate, collecting here and there. That inspired us to open the store.”The couple met in high school growing up in Orange County, north of New York City. They moved to Queens about six years ago, living first in Woodside, then two years ago they bought a co-op in Sunnyside.Glasser said the couple had been thinking about opening a store for a while.”It is a very strange story. We walked by this exact location a number of times looking at the window, we always thought it would be a nice location for something,” he said.The previous tenant opened a consignment store about a year ago, but it quickly went out of business.”We looked into our savings. We made a small plan that I would leave my job and do the renovation and Tara would remain working. That's how we did it,” he said.Andrus works in the film industry in accounting. Glasser left his job in accounting at T-Mobile to work at Stray. On the side, he continues to pursue a passion with music, playing in a surf rock band called Organized Sports.Stray's merchandise is a mixture of consignment and stock, selling candles made of soy, hand and body lotion and vintage clothing. A chef from Sunnyside Gardens, Terry Peikin, makes jewelry from old typewriters.Stray also sells old records. “I didn't think the vinyl would do well, but it has really taken off,” he said.The local reaction to the store has been positive.”This is the kind of stuff we enjoy being around,” Glasser said.Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.