Joey Wolffer is doing the most, but in the best way possible. As co-owner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard (you might recognize their iconic, floral-printed rosé bottles), co-owner of Wölffer Stables, co-owner of Wölffer Kitchen, and founder of her namesake boutique in Sag Harbor, New York, she has her hands full, to say the least.
After years of helping out at the family wine business, she gradually took it over; around the same time, in 2010, she opened her own fashion boutique by way of a truck called the Styleliner. The popular mobile shopping destination (now used for trunk shows) eventually led to a brick and mortar and online shop, plus several pop-ups across the country. Working as a trend director and buyer for her store, she’s honed her taste for eclectic, limited-run pieces that ensure her shoppers feel unique and confident. She also launched her own collection of clothing, called Joey Wölffer Reworked, which incorporates fabric from overstock inventory items into new, one-of-a-kind designs. All of which couldn’t be more Joey.
On the 10-year anniversary of her boutique, the pandemic struck—"most sad anniversary" ever, she says—but it didn't slow her down. She's taken this time to be with her husband and two young children (ages 3 and 5) and keeps a virtual tab on her company, which she's currently heading from sunny Florida until the seasonal business kicks up again. After hosting a successful pop-up in Palm Beach in February, Wölffer is optimistic about women's desire for a comfortable but exciting wardrobe for their reentry to the quote-unquote regular world. "For one year I’ve heard, ‘where am I going? I’m not going to buy this’ but now I feel like people are ready [to shop]. That’s the most positive thing I’ve seen for retail in general. It’s been tough, a lot of stores haven’t survived, and we feel so lucky to be where we are."
Below, Wölffer shares her own style ethos: her love of equestrian wear, her passion for clashing prints, and why she loves a great sundress. It expresses her mantra of celebrating individuality: "Whenever someone comes into my store, I’m like, 'please dress for yourself.' That’s my goal. I want you to leave my store looking like nobody else."
Her Morning Routine:
I walk the dog with the kids. Then I eat breakfast, [get the kids settled] for school (one is doing pod learning and the other, a tutoring program), and then I’ll horseback ride. Next, I head to the "office" (which is in my barn!) and have meetings. Eventually, I return to riding or my kids.
Her Getting Dressed Process:
We’re from Long Island and our winters there are quiet because our business is more seasonal. With the pandemic, we thought, Why not move to Florida and be in the sunshine? I basically I just wear sundresses because they are easy to throw on. I mostly wear dresses, skirts, and t-shirts. I’m in my 30s and with two small kids, I can’t put together a look every day. It has to be easy.
Her Favorite Activewear:
My side hobby/passion/obsession/unhealthy obsession is [the equestrian event] show jumping. It’s very much active for me. I fit meetings around my riding schedule and vice versa. I’m in my riding clothes a lot; my favorites are from a French brand called Dada Sport. It’s sort of athleisure but fashion. I’m very comfortable in riding clothes because I’ve been riding since I was six years old. They’re also pretty sun proof, which is good for me since I tend to burn.
Her Go-To Uniform:
I like to be comfortable, which is why I’ve been into skirts lately. After having babies, I want to show my body more, so I’ll wear a nice, fitted t-shirt with a great vintage skirt. My favorite designer is Dries Van Noten and my secret—which, after sharing here is not so secretive—is shopping on theRealReal.com; they have the best [used] Dries collection. I really like to be comfortable but chic. And not recognizable. Unless it’s my own brand, I don’t want people to know what I’m wearing.
Her Style Evolution:
I’m definitely getting more buttoned-up as I get older and I think that’s normal. Before COVID, there was a lot of interest in trends. Like, this is the dress of the moment or is this is the look of the moment, and we’re all going to look the same. Now, we’ve had a year to [really think about] what is important and who do we want to be after this. I hope that people dress for themselves and wear what makes them feel good, not because someone else is wearing it.
Her Sustainable Mindset:
I didn’t go to buying school or merchandising school, so I figured it out as I went. As a buyer, I would end up with excess inventory, which I would sell on sale, but then I thought, I’d rather not sell this for $10, I’d rather use these amazing fabrics. So, I started recycling the fabrics and making my own things. Last year, I did these cute white t-shirts with a ruffle sleeve made from recycled fabrics. The idea is that you can wear it anytime, any day, and be comfortable. It’s cute and it's refined.
Her Favorite Vintage Find:
My favorite vintage piece I have has no name, but it has an incredible print. It’s something I got from Morphew [a New York vintage store]. It’s the most spectacular dress. It’s floor length and it's so impractical, so I’ve only worn it twice. My favorite way to shop is vintage. Now, it’s been a little harder [to shop in person] so I’ve gotten very good at shopping on Etsy. I love vintage because its one-of-a-kind and it’s sustainable. I hope mass production of clothes stops post-pandemic, and that we don’t have eighteen brands doing the same look trying to compete against each other. That’s not my style.
What She Won't Keep from Pandemic Dressing:
I am donating my sweatpants as soon as this is all over! It’s the first thing I’m doing. I do not want to see sweatpants again. I did get these leopard Clare V ones which, I could deal with, but other than that, no! I want to dress comfortably, but I don’t want to bring that stuff with me. I’m not against it if you want to do it, but I can’t look at myself in a pair of sweatpants ever again.