NEW YORK — Janet Brown, whose tiny namesake store on Long Island developed into a shopping mecca for a wealthy, discreet clientele, died Friday after suffering a heart attack driving to work from her home in Oyster Bay, N.Y., said a friend, Brooke Garber Neidich. Brown was 59.
As the savvy, demonstrative purveyor of refined, ultra-tony merchandise from an unlikely outpost, Brown developed into an industry legend. In an era when the small independent retailer had all but disappeared, she built and maintained a highly successful designer business from a mundane space in Port Washington, N.Y. Her secret was knowing her customer, inspiring her to be adventurous within reason, and never falling prey to senseless trend mongering.
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