My Sister’s Closet Celebrates 40 Years in Sugar Loaf

Sep 27th, 2013 | By | Category: Sugar Loaf BLOG
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Owner Beth Duke on her wedding day in 1978, standing in front of the original location of MY SISTERS CLOSET.

Owner Beth Duke on her wedding day in 1978, standing in front of the original location of MY SISTERS CLOSET

When she opened My Sister’s Closet in Sugar Loaf in 1973, 22-year-old Beth DuCharme thought of it as more of a “labor of love” than a career—a fun way to earn some income while pursuing a master’s degree in clinical psychology from SUNY New Paltz. She named the boutique for her lifelong habit of borrowing clothes from her two sisters, and she filled it with her own handmade items and the creations of local seamstresses and quilters.

Forty years later, My Sister’s Closet is one of the longest-running businesses in the craft village. At 1385 Kings Highway (just across the street from its original location), the shop has grown to feature all-new apparel, jewelry and accessories from across the country and around the world.

Meanwhile, the proprietor became Beth DuCharme Duke—marrying carpenter Don Duke in 1978—and raised four children, and numerous pets, with him in the living space above the shop. She also maintained a career as a psychologist until the year 2000. “During the hectic years of raising a family and working another job,” she says, “I found My Sister’s Closet to be kind of a retreat for me. I loved being surrounded by beautiful fabrics, colors and textures—and wonderful, appreciative customers who have become friends.”

Like the owner, many of the first fans of My Sister’s Closet now have their own children and grandchildren and have brought them into the shop. In recent years, it’s become a popular place to find prom dresses and wedding wear.

Duke recalls how she found a slogan for the business: One Christmas Eve, a harried husband rushed in, looking for a last-minute gift. He quoted his wife: “Get me anything, as long as it’s from My Sister’s Closet!”

It’s that kind of customer loyalty that helped the shop win a 2013 Times Herald-Record Reader’s Choice Award in the “Best Women’s Clothing” category.

Beth and Don Duke in 2005 showing off the original shop sign

Beth and Don Duke in 2005 showing off the original shop sign

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