By Dinkinish O’Connor
"To not have Maya is to not have life," said Janice Schwartz while holding the designer’s sculpted resin, leopard-print clutch the way a mother holds a newborn.
Schwartz rents out a space inside of Hair Magic, a neighborhood salon whose patrons and workers look like a scene in Clueless meets The First Wives Club. From the outside, the space looks like an ordinary North Miami Beach storefront squeezed inside a plaza next to Bank of America. Inside, however, you’ll find skinny-jeaned, rock -n- roll t-shirt wearing Botox queens sitting at salon stations jabbering away (and giving each other dirty looks).
Schwartz’s space looks like a couture flea market. On the left you’ll find a table glittering with rhinestone buckles, gorgeous Maya bags and a mountain of fluorescent-colored and vintage bangles, costume earrings and necklaces. You can find great one-of-a-kind gifts like a silver lipstick holder embroidered with multicolored stone bits or a hand-painted gold and aqua bangle. Schwartz also carries Foley + Corinna-style handbags in a range of colors. Racks bulge with t-shirts, tanks and wrap dresses.
"I’m wearing this to a Bar Mitzvah this weekend," Schwartz said to Hair Magic’s owner Cookie Rosen while twirling around in a long, teal Lycra wrap shirt.
Schwartz, who purchases her pieces from trade shows like FAME and Florida Fashion Focus, even has studded, pony-hair cell phone holders and a thick, gold wire piece that can be worn like a Yo! MTV Raps rope chain, fancy choker or bracelet.
"You can get a hair weave and a T-shirt," said Rosen. "South Beach ain’t got nothin’ on us."
117 N.E. 163rd St North Miami Beach; 305-940-1740