Kingston Store 58 North Front Street, Kingston, NY 12401, USA
- A joyful, colorful and engaging shopping experience.
- Gifts and cards for everyone.
- Located in New York's historic first capital.
58 North Front Street
WHAT WE LOVE
Newt is a colorful and stylish gift shop located in Kingston in the scenic Hudson Valley. Founded in 2022 by former advertising producers Carolyn Johnson & Cindi Blondell who have created a joyful shop filled with art, home decor items, stationery, books, apothecary, and an abundance of giftable goods.
The shop is in Uptown Kingston, also known as the Stockade District, a historic district filled with 17th, 18th, and 19th century buildings. Kingston was New York's first capital and is home to he original Ulster County courthouse, the Senate House where the state of New York was established in 1777.
"A Collection of Exceptional and Unlikely Objects."
What makes Newt so unique? There’s a real sense of having traveled when you walk through our door. We stock products from all over the world and we put a lot of thought into creating a colorful, convivial environment where folks can take a mini vacation for however long they’re in the shop. Another thing that sets Newt apart is our dual emphasis on beauty and utility. There’s an old William Morris quote that we adore and adhere to which is “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” If you’re going to use an item every day, we think it should be special. Take, for example, HMM’s 2-in-1 tool we carry – function wise, it’s a pair of scissors with a built-in boxcutter but, form wise, it’s a stunning sculptural piece on a custom magnetic base that looks gorgeous on your desk or countertop. Along those same lines, another favorite product we carry are these eyeglass holders from Roman ceramicist Marco Ferrini – they’re completely one-of-a-kind handmade, hand-painted little sculptures but they keep your glasses from getting lost or scratched and they look damn cool doing it. Or the Extō from Conway – the best-looking extension cords in all the land and they’re built to last a lifetime.
Is there a story behind the shop name? Newt is a portmanteau of “need” and “want”. It speaks to the products we stock which live at that intersection.
What are Newt's “must-have” products? A few of our favorites are mentioned above. In addition to those, some of our best-sellers are gorgeous hand-embroidered cushions from CSAO, playing cards that teach you essential phrases of your chosen language while you play, papier-mâché tissue box covers, and stylish fire extinguishers that are safer because they’re cute enough to leave out on your counter.
ABOUT THE SHOPKEEPERS
What inspired you to open Newt? Newt is the answer to some questions we’d been asking ourselves for a long time. What brings us joy? What fulfils us and fuels our creativity? What do people need? What do we have to offer? The more we ruminated on all of that, the clearer it became that we should have our own shop. On the Venn diagram of “work” and “life”, Newt overlaps in all the ways we want. We love nothing more than discovering and sharing new products but the real joy for us is ensuring every person leaves our shop feeling better than they did when they entered, whether they bought something or not.
Before we were shopkeepers, we... were both producers in advertising. We met 15 years ago in Boulder, Colorado at an agency there. Our careers then took us to Los Angeles and finally New York, which led to us falling in love with this part of the state and making it our home.
What are your favorite shops? We both fell in love with Cutter Brooks when we visited the Cotswolds a few years ago. John Derian in NYC is another favorite. Just this past weekend we visited Plain Goods in New Preston, Connecticut – it’s incredible. We’re suckers for a good museum shop too.
ON THE FUTRE OF RETAIL
"No matter the advances in technology, there’s just no replacement for independent, in-person retail and the experience and expertise that comes along with it. The pandemic has only reaffirmed our belief that brick-and-mortar stores will be valued more as our daily lives become increasingly digital. Lockdowns had us all isolated and shopping on screens and as soon as we were allowed, we all couldn’t wait to walk into a store. Humans are communal and the best shopping experiences are sensory. You can’t feel the texture of a blanket online. You can’t smell the candle. You can’t ask the shopkeeper for advice on where to eat lunch in town or discover your new favorite song playing on the speakers."