“My goals have always been to create a space where everyone feels comfortable, where everyone feels good about themselves and their bodies.” – Melissa Orsini, owner
There’s nothing like the feeling of a truly fine garment next to your skin to make you feel pampered. You can hunt in vain for that feeling in an impersonal department store or take your chances shopping online—or make an appointment for personal shopping at Salix Intimates in New Paltz, where high quality can be found in elegant styles, all of it sustainably sourced and ethically produced.
Talk about next-level sexy; this is lingerie that will make you feel genuinely good on so many levels.
Shopping by appointment was added in response to pandemic safety requirements and has been a huge hit, says owner and CEO Melissa Orsini. “We offer a discrete and luxurious shopping experience, in a space that is welcoming to all people,” she says. “We offer free bra fittings and appointments. We also have a website where customers near and far can browse at the discretion of their own homes. During the shutdown, I remained busy selling online as best as possible and that helped me stay afloat.
Once we reopened, we began offering in-store and virtual appointments, which allowed us to be open but remain safe. During appointments, we require customers to wear masks or face coverings and provide hand sanitizer for those who want to browse the racks. After customers finish their appointments, we thoroughly clean and reorganize the shop, sanitizing common surfaces and steam cleaning any garments that were previously tried on and unpurchased.”
“We offer a discrete and luxurious shopping experience, in a space that is welcoming to all people.”
–Melissa Orsini, owner
Last fall, the store began accepting returns again—Melissa had figured out a safe sterilization process—and, on the weekends, Salix is now welcoming up to five masked walk-in customers at a time to its cozy nest upstairs at Water Street Market. But the appointments aren’t going anywhere—you can book via the website, by phone, or by email.
Even before there was a pandemic in the mix, Melissa has always known that a practical sense of safety was key to a great lingerie shopping experience. “My goals have always been to create a space where everyone feels comfortable, where everyone feels good about themselves and their bodies,” she says. “There’s nothing like that moment when a person feels ecstatic from finding the perfect underwear, when they feel amazing inside and out. It is why I do what I do!”
Your Salix Intimates purchase will also make you feel good in ways that go far beyond skin-deep. These undergarments are not just elegant, they’re ethical. “I focus on creating a space that provides quality eco-friendly garments and items that help people reduce their waste,” says Melissa. “Sustainability is a buzzword these days, but I believe that reducing your footprint should be accessible to everyone. It does not have to happen overnight. I love to show folks that we can all take small steps towards living a less wasteful lifestyle, and that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.”
Melissa grew up in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood “before it was trendy,” she says, “when there was still space for small business and community.” She always knew that her life’s work would revolve around sustainability, while not being quite sure what that might look like—until she realized it could apply to work she had already grown to enjoy. “I worked for several years managing and operating a small business in Williamsburg that specializes in luxury lingerie and sexual wellness, learning the trade and making connections with vendors. Over time, I began to wonder, what if I could sell lingerie but focus on minimal waste and providing well-made, sustainably conscious, and ethically sourced garments?”
Melissa traveled most of the US looking for the perfect spot, someplace where there was room for the kind of upstart creativity that she’d grown to love in pre-trendy Williamsburg. “I found myself always coming back to the Hudson Valley,” she says. “Years prior, my family settled here looking for a place that could offer the strength of community away from the bustle of the city. I eventually followed them and fell in love with New Paltz. It reminded me of the eclecticness of the Williamsburg I grew up in, with all exceptional small businesses, but set in the mountains of the Hudson Valley. It’s the best of both worlds.”
In the summer of 2018, her parents spotted a vacancy at Water Street Market and the rest is history. “I submitted an application and was approved. It happened really fast,” she recalls, “I honestly opened the store before I even had an apartment to live in here, splitting my time between the city and New Paltz for the first couple weeks. It all worked out in the end and I’m so happy it did.”
With the opening of Salix Intimates, Hudson Valley residents and tourists finally have a place to shop for undergarments that meet standards for ethics and excellence alike. “I try to stand out by incorporating lingerie styles that are different from what you might find at other stores,” Melissa says. “I focus on fit and color, lace patterns, and overall construction. Every brand at Salix is ethically produced, and I make sure that each vendor adheres to high production standards, paying their factory workers a livable wage and producing their garments in safe facilities. Our brands also produce garments using eco-friendly materials that are locally sourced or recycled. The store itself is warm and inviting. I want to make sure that our customers feel comfortable when entering the store and throughout their shopping experience.”
“Every brand at Salix is ethically produced, and I make sure that each vendor adheres to high production standards, paying their factory workers a livable wage and producing their garments in safe facilities.” –Melissa Orsini, owner
The light-filled shop with the Wallkill River views has been a hit with locals, students, and tourists alike, welcoming customers of every body type, size, and budget. (There’s a student discount of 15% no matter which school you go to, a 20% discount for your birthday, and sales run through the year. There’s a newsletter you can sign up for to stay in the loop.)
The goal is for every customer to have a blissful time, whether or not they buy. “My priority is making certain a customer absolutely loves the items they are purchasing,” says Melissa. “I make sure that whatever they buy fits well and that they’re happy with it. Customers who are super-excited with their purchases and with the overall experience they’ve had at the store keep coming back! My main focus is not to necessarily sell something to everyone that walks in, but to make sure that everyone has a positive, memorable experience.”
When was the last time you had an experience like that shopping for underwear? Yeah. Come visit Melissa in her sunshiny, plant-filled boutique. “Underwear shopping is nerve-wracking enough for a lot of people,” she observes. “I love making it feel accessible, ethical, and luxurious, from the curated offerings to the individualized consultation. And seeing Salix take shape from the dream I had in my head to the reality is incredibly rewarding.”
10 Main Street, Suite 424, New Paltz
Water Street Market, 2nd floor 845-633-8028