Longtime BFFs Left Manhattan Fashion Jobs to Open Jersey Shore Boutiques Together

They returned to their coastal roots to open Waterlily, a clothing shop, in Spring Lake, Manasquan and Bay Head, plus Seas the Day, a gift shop in Spring Lake.

Abbey Holloway and Catherine Spinosa inside Waterlily, their Jersey Shore boutique

Abbey Holloway (left) and Catherine Spinosa sell soft, flowy fashion at their Shore boutique, Waterlily, in Spring Lake, Manasquan and Bay Head. Photo: Courtesy of Alison Ardolino

When Abbey Holloway and Catherine Spinosa opened their first Waterlily women’s clothing shop in Spring Lake, it was the perfect location—just three blocks from the beach and close enough to ride their bikes to work.

The high school friends grew up in Manasquan and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Later, they shared a commute to Manhattan each morning, where Holloway was a merchandiser for Free People, and Spinosa worked in the fashion district for a clothing retailer. But both felt unfulfilled and dreamed of opening their own shop. So, when a retail space opened in Spring Lake in 2007, these Shore residents took the plunge.

“We filled our store with unique clothes in vibrant colors, with soft flowy fabrics and fun embellishments,” Spinosa says. Today, they live a busy but casual lifestyle, usually in jeans and sneakers, whether tending the store or at home with their families.

Shore shoppers liked what they saw at the Spring Lake flagship location, so the partners rode the wave and expanded to Manasquan (177 Main Street) and Bay Head (41 Mount Street).

Blue, white and denim clothing at Waterlily boutique

Waterlily stocks a lot of soft and flowy fabrics. Photo: Abbey Holloway

Today, all three boutiques sell favorite looks from Free People, Z Supply, Mother Denim, Rails, Bell, Birkenstock, Spell Designs, Bella Dahl, Saltwater Luxe, Maaji Swim, L Space, Velvet, Citizens of Humanity and more.

Waterlily overflows with dresses, skirts, tops, pants, swimwear, shoes and accessories. Holloway says, “Our most-requested looks are block-printed caftans from India, soft tees made in the USA, and your favorite pair of denim jeans.” Spinosa adds, “Each item is handpicked by Abbey and me. We especially like feminine, bohemian styles, often with a preppy touch.”

The Spring Lake and Manasquan locations are open year-round, but the Bay Head shop is seasonal, May through October. In 2019, the partners also opened a Spring Lake gift shop called Seas the Day, specializing in upscale beach bags, sweatshirts and coastal souvenirs.

“We’re so fortunate to be in the downtown areas of three quaint and beautiful Shore towns,” says Holloway. “We have the best customers, always relaxed, happy and in vacation mode.”

Waterlily Flagship Store, 1202 Third Avenue, Spring Lake; 732-449-0912.

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