Elizabeth Gross, Proprietress

Looking back, it’s almost inevitable that Liz Gross would create Portland’s most stylishly sumptuous vintage clothing boutique. When she was a child, Liz commandeered the crayon box to draw ball gowns. Afternoons she spent in her grandmother’s attic trying on silk cocktail ensembles and moth-eaten mink stoles. By the time Liz was 18, she was on a first-name basis with the staff at the thrift stores and estate sales she raided for rhinestone brooches and World War Two-era rayon dresses.

Intending to study fashion design, Liz entered the Rhode Island School of Design, but painting seduced her briefly from clothing. On leaving college, she plunged back into the world of vintage fashion, first buying and selling vintage clothing for other boutiques, then opening the Xtabay in 2001 and the Xtabay Bridal Salon a decade later. All told, Liz has been making women beautiful in vintage clothing for well over 20 years.

“I love helping someone find a dress she loves, then watching her face light up when she sees herself in the mirror. She moves differently, holds herself differently. It’s like she’s uncovered her real self.”