More than a decade ago, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi made waves across the world as the breakout star of Jersey Shore, MTV’s hit reality show that followed a group of young “adults” spending the summer down in Seaside Heights, NJ.
Fans instantly fell in love with Polizzi, whose short stature but larger-than-life personality led to several of the show’s most memorable scenes. Before long, she was one of the first bona fide reality stars of the 2010s. With open arms, the cultural zeitgeist embraced her quippy one-liners, signature hairstyles, and — most of all — her iconic fashion.
Now, Hudson Valley residents can take a step into Polizzi’s wardrobe at The Snooki Shop (508 Main Street), Polizzi’s second brick and mortar boutique that opened on Main Street in Beacon back in November.
“I’ve always been obsessed with clothes and fashion and stuff like that, and I always love working in a store setting,” Polizzi says. One of her earliest work experiences was as a sales associate at Forever 21 in the Poughkeepsie Galleria. “Literally my favorite job,” she says with all seriousness.
Opening up her own store had been a longtime dream, but filming commitments and appearances packed Polizzi’s schedule for much of the decade following Jersey Shore. As soon as she found the time, she took the leap and founded the first Snooki Shop in Madison, NJ, in 2018.
“I definitely wanted a store that resembles my closet and my style,” Polizzi said. “I always say, when you walk into my store, you’re in my closet and you’re shopping my favorite looks.”
These looks include blouses, dresses, loungewear, and — of course — no shortage of leopard print. “I feel like that’s like my brand,” Polizzi says. “Anything that I do when it comes to making products and stuff has to have leopard.”
Choosing New Jersey for her first storefront was unsurprising, as Polizzi’s name has become synonymous with the Garden State, but despite what many fans think, she is not from New Jersey. “No, I’m a New York girl,” Polizzi says. “I ended up moving to Jersey because I fell in love with a Jersey boy.”
Polizzi, who was born in Chile and adopted at 6 months old, grew up in Marlboro in Ulster County and attended Marlboro High School. (Dedicated fans will recall Polizzi dubbing herself “the princess of Poughkeepsie” in an early Jersey Shore episode.)
When scoping out a location for her second shop, Beacon was a natural choice for Polizzi. She was first introduced to Beacon while attending high school cheerleading competitions. “I just love the Beacon area because it reminds me of Marlboro, but livelier,” Polizzi says.
Along with this, Polizzi also desired a location that was close to her parents, as well as her childhood best friend — Stephanie Greiner, who runs the Beacon location; proximity to colleges like Marist College, Vassar, and Dutchess Community College sealed the deal.
“Beacon is beautiful and such a classy, cute town that I feel needed a little spunk,” Polizzi says.
While that spunk is certainly present at the Beacon location, Polizzi describes the shop as a little more “toned down” than its Jersey sister. “In Jersey, I feel like I could go a little crazy. But in Beacon, I definitely wanted to tie-in [the city] and not be like, so dramatic,” Polizzi says. “Some of the styles there are a little bit more chic and more toned down … but you know, I definitely have my leopard.”
In addition to leopard prints (“Surprisingly, they love all the leopard print, so I’m loving that,” says Polizzi), shoppers have also been drawn to the store’s loungewear and leggings, which Polizzi says are specifically designed to be, “super high-waisted, but also soft and comfortable, and not digging into your skin.”
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