The Year In Shopping
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Google Analytics, it’s that you like to read about shopping, and, we presume, put your proclivities into action. Over the course of the past year, Rural Intelligence went on its own hunt to introduce you to the newest, or most intriguing, or most beloved shops and artisans in the region. In case you weren’t in the market for equestrian gear or vintage curiosities the first time around, we offer a roundup of some of the purveyors of goods we visited earlier in the year. You never know when you’re going to need a good wire brush.
Gilmor Glass, Millerton
Owners Jon and Jan Gilmor play with fire to produce one-of-a-kind stemware, bowls, vases, and objets d’art — all made by hand using mouth-blown and pressed-glass techniques, one at a time. Functional glass (like stemware, tumblers, goblets and vases) mix with unique glass jewelry and the purely decorative glass creations. Gilmor Glass always offers workshops; check their website for the schedule.
Privet House, New Preston
In January, we wrote about the home furnishings and antiques store opening up its second shop (the first is in Greenwich). That Target,tapped Privet for the first round of its “The Shops at Target,” has only enhanced the purveyor (co-owners Suzanne Cassano and Richard Lambertson, known as arbiters of good taste) offering a small apothecary area, bath linens, a wire brush collection (which they’ve become known for), French flea market tables, and an unrivaled tabletop collection.
Fashion refugee turned small town shopkeeper Andrew Arrick and his partner, former marketing executive Michael Hoffemann, recently opened this well-curated take on modern luxury goods. The mix of old and new includes Astier de Villatte candles; John Derian’s colorful objects; Coral and Tusk’s playful pillows and tea towels; art by local artist Jim Oliveira, and an Arne Jacobsen sofa. They promised an evolving selection of vintage pieces from the Paris furniture shows.
Second Home, Lenox
We visited Second Home at the height of Tanglewood season, and the hot sellers were the Tanglewood tables fashioned by owner Suzannah Van Schaick’s local carpenter friend. Second Home has also become a one-stop-shop for one-of-a-kind local finds like hand-screened posters of regional spots by Lenox artist Judy Bates, and locally made soy candles and beaded jewelry. Van Schaick is also heavily into upcycling: she turns flea market and yard sale steals into colorful re-creations, from brightly painted vintage wire magazine racks to a beautifully revived, lightly waxed buffet.
Rhinebeck Department Store
The store simply wouldn’t be without the building, owner Barbara Schreiber told us. So go check out the meticulously restored three-story Italianate building that was formerly the Hudson Valley Department Store. Inside the emporium, you’ll find authentic country classics, from knit tops by Fresh Produce Clothing and brightly patterned Echo scarves to colorful kids’ rain boots from Hatley. There are selections from Pendleton, Woolrich and other Americana mainstays.
Louisa Ellis, Hudson and Great Barrington
Louisa Ellis opened in 2011 on Main Street in Great Barrington and to date carries nearly 20 different lines of contemporary women’s ready-to-wear clothing. In 2012, owner Melissa Bigarel opened up a second shop in Hudson (closed in winter). The shops receive a new collection every month, and ranges from work-appropriate pantsuits to casual day and evening dresses, all with a decidedly feminine take on style.
One Mercantile, Great Barrington
Hipster couple, industrial-looking space and vintage: sounds a lot like Brooklyn. But One Mercantile opened this year in Great Barrington (same difference, some might say). Owners Abby Webster and Andrew Pruhenski, Berkshire natives both, fill the raw brick, high-ceilinged space with gifty items and home goods that are either authentic vintage or vintage looking, plus glassware, assorted curiosities and recycled items.
Horse Leap, Amenia
It’s the only shop in the Northeast selling authentic equestrian gear, either new or slightly broken in, and it’s where equestrians go knowing that they’ll get the right color garters for their boots, the proper rain gloves, and attire for the white tie “hunt ball.” But you don’t have to ride hounds to enjoy the hunt. Owner Barbara Wadsworth also sells plates, ashtrays, and glasses with fox-hunting scenes, hand-painted horse bookends and other horsey paraphernalia.
Kitchenware Stores: Never Too Many Cooks
We had holiday cooking in mind when we rounded up a handful of some of the finest kitchen superstores that sharpen up our region, but really, a kitchen store is pretty timeless. We looked at Warren Kitchen and Cutlery and bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy in Rhinebeck, New Preston Kitchen Goods and Hammertown in Rhinebeck, Pine Plains and Great Barrington.
Great Finds, Valatie
Valatie may be a thruway to get from here to there, but Great Finds is a destination. Owner Maggie Calhoun designs the micro home and lifestyle department store to be a little of everything to everybody (as well as Main Street’s main attraction), and there’s plenty to take in. It’s a women’s clothing and beauty boutique, gift shop with wedding registry, and kitchen and home goods store. Gluggle pitcher, anyone?
J. Seitz and Company, New Preston
The tight-knit family-owned enterprise offers up a full two floors of shopping. The lower is dedicated to furniture such as Cisco Brothers Belgian linen sofas, Mitchell Gold furniture and RLH Collection chairs. The top floor houses easy-to-wear collections from James Perse, John Patrick Organic and Matta. There are hostess and baby gifts, jewelry, a smattering of beauty products, and fun surprises: an Octopus pendant necklaces, deer antlers on vases, beeswax skull-shaped candles.
Boxwood Linen, Hillsdale
Franca Fusco, designer and owner of Boxwood Linen, sells locally made table linens and accessories. Each piece is cut one by one so the grain is perfect every time, and hand-finished. Everything, from table linens, tea towels, guest towels and bath towels to shower curtains, pillows and quilts, is created by Fusco in her nearby studio. Check out her classic bistro aprons, which, says Fusco, “make you feel more competent in the kitchen.”