By Joshua Maloni
Cristina Catalano is a go-getter.
Last fall, at the age of 22, she started an online clothing brand – Revamped New York.
“It came from me taking clothing and reworking it into one-of-a-kind pieces – so essentially ‘revamping’ it!” she said.
A mix of cropped and tie-dyed items soon caught the attention of social media followers, and less than a year later, Catalano was able to branch out into her own brick-and-mortar location. Her village clothing boutique opened one month ago.
“I went to Buffalo State and I was going for interior design. And I realized that it just wasn't for me,” Catalano said. “So then I started to pursue a small business on the side, on Instagram, full-time. And once I did that, it blew up; and I just had so much support from family, friends, like Buffalo itself. And now I'm spread across all of U.S. – and I'm international, too, which is crazy. And then once that happened, my business blew up on social media after about like five, six months.
“I started looking for a storefront, and I never thought anything in Lewiston, on Center Street, would ever come. So when it did, I took it and I jumped on it right away and I'm so happy.”
Now 23, the Lewiston-Porter graduate and Youngstown resident said, “Ever since I was younger, I always loved fashion. My mom will literally even tell you a story. I said to her, as a kid, I was like, ‘I wish I had 365 outfits for every day of the year.’ I've always loved clothes, and I've always been really good with fashion and knowing what's on trend.”
Cristina Catalano is shown with some of her Revamped New York clothing.
Catalano carries “a mix of clothing in here. It is very what's on trend,” she said. “I do have a mix from where younger girls could come in who are around my age, but then also where moms can come in, as well. I do have items that are cropped. Obviously, some people like to wear cropped clothing. And then I do have full-length clothing. So like my mom even shops here. I do try to have a mix of those.”
What sets Revamped New York apart, however, is Catalano’s own brand.
“I actually hand-dye all the clothing – and it's Buffalo apparel, so you can represent the city and the team,” she said. “That's where I blew up on social media.
“Pretty much I sew and I create one-of-a-kind pieces, as well, that I can never remake, and that you can never buy anywhere else. You'll be the only one to wear that item.”
On those items, “I also print my own words on it: Buffalo, there's Buffalo Mafia,” Catalano said. “I sew the shorts, I make the joggers, those are hand-dyed. And then a lot of actually the Bills’ wives and girlfriends wear my clothing, teams from out of state. They're all familiar with that. They like the cropped hoodies.
“So, pretty much with those hoodies, they don't come cropped. I actually take it, and I cut it and I sew it and I move the hem up. That's what makes me really unique.”
Customer Mackenzie Pollock said, “Cristina and I started chatting over Instagram in 2020. I first saw her designs on Josh Allen’s girlfriend, Brittany Williams, and I was in awe. Brittany was wearing a beautiful, handmade, blue tie-dye sweat-set for a Bills game, and I desperately wanted one. After social stalking Revamped New York’s Instagram for a few months, I bit the bullet and reached out to her.
“As a curvier female in her late-20s, it’s hard to find items worn by influencers that I get really excited about; especially ones that are custom-made for me or were hand selected for a woman of my size. Cristina made me feel right at home with her enthusiasm, and her willingness to create whatever my heart desired showed me her humility. I received my order and fell in love with her work.”
She noted, “Once Cristina found her storefront, she made a point to create a plus-size section on her floor – not something that many boutiques do these days. Most boutiques will tell you that their ‘extended’ sizes are only available online, not only making the purchase, try-on and return process a nightmare, but also making plus-sized women feel as if carrying their sizes in-store isn’t worth taking up space on the sales floor.
“Cristina cares. She hand-selects every item that is sold in her store. She is passionate about her community and, most importantly, strives to make her customers feel and look beautiful.”
Customer Joy Cruz said, “Cristina is one of the sweetest, hardest workers I know. She has a pleasant attitude and her smile can light up a room. The amount of time and quality she puts into her work shows her true character. Cristina's creativity is amazing – some of the best I have ever seen. Her merchandise is exceptional. The detail in her material is one of a kind. Cristina answers every call, text, email, message personally and in a timely manner. That, to me, is one of a kind.”
Catalano said such feedback has squashed any fears of failure – and makes the 19-hour workdays worthwhile.
“I saw the potential in the business, and others saw the potential in me and in the business itself,” she said. “I think the only way that you learn really how to truly run a business is by doing it yourself; and you learn from experience.”
Popular brands at Revamped New York include Winnie and Co., Crescent, Dress Forum, Vervet by Flying Monkey, Promesa, Hayden and, of course, Revamped New York. Catalano will soon be adding a home goods section.
In addition, Catalano said, “I have some chap sticks. I have cups. Little cute signs. Mugs. I have jewelry lines from other local small businesses in here. Candles from other local businesses. I have Lavender Hue Studio. That's another local small business in Hamburg. I like to incorporate other small businesses into my small business, because I think it helps the community grow.”
Revamped New York is located at 484 Center St., in half of the space that was once Sister & Brother. Tentative hours of operation are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Revamped New York recently celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce. The new retail shop is located next to Stuart Sports. President Jennifer Pauly said, “Owner Cristina Catalano has created a trendy clothing boutique for women that also carries custom unisex apparel that she has personally created and sewn. Elected leaders, chamber board of directors, family and friends joined in the grand-opening celebration.” (Photo courtesy of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce)