This Lavallette Shop is Brimming with Laid-Back, Stylish Offerings

Patty Sabey, granddaughter of Lucky Leo's founder Leo Whalen, has built a beach-area empire all her own.

House of Lucky owner Patty Sabey fills her shop with boho-inspired apparel, handbags, jewelry and shoes. A sister store featuring gift items opens this summer. Photo by Marla Cohen

Patty Sabey makes no bones about it: She’s lucky. The Toms River native was fortunate enough to grow up spending many summer hours on the Seaside Heights boardwalk. But it wasn’t to eat funnel cake and play Skee Ball. She worked at Lucky Leo’s, the pinball and video arcade her grandfather opened in 1953.

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During college, while on break from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Sabey took a leap of faith. “I got the idea to bring some things from the city and sell them on the boardwalk,” she says. On a whim, she rented a 10-by-10 stand and sold jewelry and purses she’d found in her travels around Manhattan. “I had fun, and it was really well received,” Sabey says. That was 2005. She named her booth Lucky Lady and returned summer after summer, eventually moving to a bigger space. When Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, she had only minor damage, but took some time off. Then, in 2014, Sabey decided to enter the brick-and-mortar world, opening House of Lucky on Grand Central Avenue in Lavallette.

The bright, airy space features beach-inspired clothing, shoes and jewelry, all with a bit of bohemian style. “I provide products that are attainable, stylish, and complement our customers’ easygoing lifestyle,” Sabey says. While House of Lucky offers some popular names like Kendra Scott jewelry, Sabey tends to focus on lesser-known lines. “I’ve really tried to curate a unique selection of boutique brands that you can’t find at the mall or search for online,” she says. A great example is Los Angeles-based Saltwater Luxe, a line that includes carefree dresses, kimonos, rompers and more. “I love West Coast style and am inspired by the down-to-earth vibe that, in a way, echoes life at the Jersey Shore,” Sabey says.

Jewelry is also a mainstay at the shop, “and ours is not expensive,” she says. Gift items such as notecards and candles round out the inventory.

Sabey, who lives in Island Heights with her husband and two young children, certainly lucked out when she found her niche. Now she is expanding to a second, adjacent store at the end of June. The new shop, Salt House, is “more gift-centric and celebrates the good life on the Jersey Shore,” she says. And that’s lucky for the entire Shore.

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