Q: Did you discover the North Fork during college in NYC then?
A: No. I’ve been coming to Shelter Island since I was little.
My Dad went to college in Southampton, so even though we lived in Texas we would vacation in Shelter Island. I loved it, I think because of him, that’s what inspired me to move out of Texas.
Q: Shelter Island from Texas. That must have been quite a contrast. Where in Texas are you from, and what was the most striking difference between there and here?
A: I’m from Spring Texas, which is a suburb outside of Houston. Houston is huge!
The big difference for me is that there’s nothing old in Spring. It’s just strip centers, malls. There’s no zoning and no preservation of anything.
Look, I love my family and I love Texas, but I’ve always resonated with things of the past that have some history and character to them, which is one of the reasons I love it out here. Every place has a story; a past-life and people really appreciate it. That’s sort of what I’m doing in my shop, just remembering.
Q: The Times Vintage is pretty new. When did you open, and how did it come to be?
A: We’ve been open about two and a half years.
Three years ago Dad decided to invest in Greenport, because he believed it was a gem. When he showed me the building, I got to thinking… hmmm I have always loved Vintage & dreamed of opening a shop someday. Maybe this could be the place, maybe the time is now?
The whole journey has brought us closer as father and daughter and I think we make a pretty good team.
Q: You mentioned you went to college for studio art. What’s your medium?
A: My main medium was painting and drawing, but I’ve always loved creating and getting my hands on whatever I could make. My mom’s really creative too.
These days I get my creative outlet in the store by doing the window and arranging stuff in the store. I’m beginning to see that as my medium, I’m seeing it differently than just merchandising.
Q: What do you mean by the store and the window are your medium now?
A: It’s like a project, being given these supplies, now make something with it.
I’m surrounded by all this cool stuff, and it’s like: ‘How am I going to organize it to be aesthetically pleasing & not overwhelming to the customers?’ I get into a momentum that I can’t really explain, it’s all very experimental. I definitely see the store itself as a continuous work in progress; I’m never really satisfied with it.
Q: You stock a huge range of items. Are there any that you particularly like?
A: I am mostly interested in and excited by the clothes. I look for unique things that will make somebody really stand out while wearing it. I don’t pay attention to labels so much; it’s more the quirkiness factor. Colors and patterns.
I also love anything kitsch and a little wacky. That’s what excites me the most!
Q: What do you like about doing the windows so much?
A: The window is when I feel like I’m really creating something artful.
I think it’s because people are walking by it every day. Even if they don’t come in, if I can make a window that people notice and it reminds them of their childhood, or starts a conversation, sparks their interest.
Right now I’m really excited about spring, so this next window will be very floral and festive.