The Xtabay, from an ancient legend
The Xtabay is the most elusive of all women. You seek her in your flight of desire and think of her as beautiful as the morning sun touching the highest mountain peak. Her voice calls to you in every whisper of the wind. The lure of her unknown love becomes ever stronger, and a virgin who might have consumed your nights with tender caresses now seems less than the dry leaves of winter. For you follow the call of the Xtabay... though you walk alone through all your days.
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 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.”
Besides running the Xtabay and the Xtabay Bridal Salon, Liz also owns The English Dept bridal boutique in downtown Portland.