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Whitestone store sells Queens creations

Whitestone residents looking for unique handbags and accessories have a new place not to let their money burn a hole in their pocketbooks.

Giochina’s Boutique opened March 15 and its selection of bags includes hand-woven satchels, high-end clutches and locally stitched carryalls.

A long, bright, mirror-lined space in the Whitestone Shopping Center, Giochina’s brings a special touch to an area that supports such an interesting variety, according to Marcia Lynn, a self-appointed spokeswoman for the store’s owner.

“It’s a very unique store. It’s a pocketbook store with accessories,” Lynn said. “She showcases up-and-coming people and she sells DKNY right next to them. And believe it or not it’s the up-and-comers that are selling best.”

The store puts a premium on supporting Queens designers in particular and currently offers pieces — from pocketbooks to ponchos to communion capes — created by a number of Queens natives and residents.

“What’s nice about this is that in this unfortunate economy she’s been able to give some Queens designers a place to showcase their merchandise,” Lynn said.

Located at 153-87 Cross Island Pkwy., the shop offers fine pieces handmade by a Queens-based former owner of a commercial construction company who chose to transition into the children’s wear business when the economy went south.

It also features the alluring, handmade creations of The Iris Collection. Queens resident Iris Kaplan, whose father owned handbag manufacturer Fre-mor, has gone into the family business herself, making hand-knit bags and interesting accessories.

“I’m carrying on my father’s legacy,” she said. “These pieces are one of a kind, and I design and make all of them.”

Amanda Ramsadeen, a salesgirl at the classy outpost, said she loves the items Giochina’s sells, but that it is the store’s environs she likes best about working there.

“I feel great, I feel exuberant, I feel vivacious here,” she said. “It’s a great atmosphere. It brings out the inner diva in me, the inner sexy woman.”

Giochina’s is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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