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Flushing women’s boutique gives back to the community

By Madina Toure

After nearly three years in business, the women’s boutique Pippy&Lily has undertaken a number of initiatives to support the Flushing community, including its recent participation in the inaugural Organ Donor Enrollment Day.

The boutique’s founder and owner, Anita Manfredonia, helped sign up 30 people during LiveOn NY’s Oct. 6 event at her shop located at 161-05 29th Ave.

Manfredonia said her business started off as a store for women’s accessories and has branched out to form a support system for community members.

“It became a little haven for women to go to relax, to meet their fund-raising (initiatives),” Manfredonia said.

The shop, named after Manfredonia’s two rescue cats, sells handbags, jewelry, accessories, soap and clothing, which it added to its offerings in the spring. The boutique also offers window treatment services.

Raised on Long Island, Manfredonia has been living in Flushing for the past 10 years with her husband, who is from Bayside.

Manfredonia previously worked as a representative in the cosmetics and fragrance department at Macy’s and a luxury catalog internet startup.

She became friends with the woman who owned the home decor store, which was once housed in the boutique’s space. She eventually started helping to watch the store and set up a table to sell jewelry and handbags.

In 2012, the woman’s store went out of business and she asked Manfredonia to take over the lease. Manfredonia had already been running the jewelry and handbag business since 2010.

“This is my five-year plan,” she thought at the time. “It’s coming in two years. Maybe I should jump in and try.”

Manfredonia said she was inspired to participate in the Organ Enrollment Day because of a customer who became a friend who had cystic fibrosis.

She was also inspired by Katy Starck Monte, the wife of a Holy Cross High School alum who has been fighting cystic fibrosis. She posted the #OomphforKaty hashtag on the boutique’s entrance to support the campaign started on her behalf.

“I thought, I have to do something,” she said. “I want her to live.”

She has hosted events for St. Andrew Avellino School, Holy Cross HS, St. Luke School, St. Mel’s Catholic Academy, Sacred Heart School and the Alfred Kennedy School. She has also done fund-raisers for Animal Rescue.

In 2013, she hosted a makeup artist event for women with breast cancer at the boutique. A percentage of the proceeds went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

She also works with school mothers’ clubs in the area, asking them to do a two-hour shopping night in the store. She gives the school a percentage of the profit that can be used toward costs related to students’ needs.

She hopes to give back to the community more in the future, noting that she takes up causes “near and dear to my heart.”

“I kind of just pick and choose as I go,” she said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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