Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What's Happening on Austin Street: Jacklyn's—A Local Favorite for Nearly 40 Years

"What's Happening on Austin Street" is an ongoing series looking at the many different businesses along Forest Hills' major shopping strip. Have a business you'd like us to profile? Email edgeofthecity@gmail.com

A Jacklyn’s of All Trades

By Rebecca Banchik

There's something missing from the shopping experience at a big box retailer. Don't get me wrong, it's convenient to run into Bloomingdales or Macy's and choose from all the brands and styles. But by shopping at these stores you’re not supporting a local business and you're certainly not going to get the experience of being in a small shop. 

When I first moved to Forest Hills I was happy {almost relieved} that some of the chain stores were around for me to shop in and were easily accessible. But without going into Manhattan or out to Long Island, there's really only one store in Forest Hills to get the brand name designers you find in bigger stores. It's particularly exciting for me, a sucker for expensive denim {with stretch - definitely need stretch}, to have Jacklyn's Boutique in our neighborhood. They carry my favorite brands like Seven For All Mankind, J Brand, Joie, and Eileen Fisher, just to name a few. 

I spoke with the owner of the store’s daughter, Nicole Soleimani, who explained to me that the store originally opened almost 40 years ago by Jack who was inspired to open the store by his sister Jacklyn {ring a bell?} who had a love for designing clothes. Jack eventually turned the store over to Robbin who now fully runs the boutique. 

Nicole described her experience growing up around Austin Street in Forest Hills as an upscale neighborhood that has changed drastically over the years. She mentioned that when the big boys came into town many small businesses suffered. Lucky for her as a shop owner, and for us as residents, Austin Street is thriving now and Jacklyn’s is perfectly located near the Shake Shack and Bare Burger. My advice to you though? Try on the clothes before you eat the burgers!

It was a pleasure recently stopping by the store and getting to know Robbin. The store was welcoming, door wide open, beckoning the Austin Street walkers-by to stop in for a look. 

Robbin is extremely knowledgeable and is ready to help you pick out a new outfit or accessorize you for your next event. She attributed much of her long lasting success to her faithful and steady clientele, some of whom have been shopping at Jacklyn's for 30 years. She even has some loyal customers that come from Manhattan to get dressed and buy head to toe outfits at our Forest Hills gem. 

Robbin explained that she is not running the store hoping to churn business in a revolving-door fashion and have fleeting customers only looking out for the next big sale. She's providing high quality, designer pieces to the women of Forest Hills with the assurance that the products she sells are good, tried, and true. She stands by the quality of the designers she carries. 

The store combines a small town hospitality vibe with the sought after city trendiness New Yorkers crave. While times have certainly changed, and Robbin no longer knows every person that walks through the door {she described a time when that was the case}, there's no doubt that Jacklyn's remains a neighborhood standard. 

Stop by the boutique and say hello to the friendly staff, try on a new blouse, peruse the racks, check out the shoe collection, and maybe pick up a little something for a gift {or treat yourself}. I certainly have my eyes on a pair of earrings and some jeans. Robbin will be seeing me soon for some retail therapy. Maybe I’ll see you there too, ready to look fabulous in Forest Hills.

Jacklyn’s Boutique
71-50 Austin St, Forest Hills


  1. I'm really happy to see this article and would love to have more news and views of local entrepreneurs. I think the neighborhood's development has been wildly abandoned and it's great to see information about a business like this!

    1. Thanks for reading! I agree there's a need for highlighting local businesses.

  2. It's really cool that you're spotlighting small, local businesses. Jacklyn's has been consistently great for years.

  3. I have lived in forest hills for over twenty
    years. Its always a pleasure to go to Jacklyns for my wife (her favorite store) Jacklyns is a great asset to Austin street .

  4. Its so great to see Jacklyns getting some shout outs its been my favorite spot for years!!!

  5. Love! Love! Love! this boutique. They are always up to date on the trends and carry the best brands. Defiantly worth the splurge.

  6. Jacklyn's Rocks!
    What a pleasure to read this article concerning my favorite my one and only one stop shop!
    This store deserves a lot of recognition, it is truly a gem in queens. As for Robin she is simply amazing and has a true visual talent for fashion ! Ronda and Andreja are fabulous with there suggestions and honesty in creating the perfect head turning outfit! Last but not least Fern is awesome she too has great sense of style . I truly love this place and feel everyone should try it out . After all it beats going into the city to get that trendy , stylish look everyone desires!