River Mint Finery
Kingston Store 270 Fair Street, Kingston, NY 12401, USA
- Young independent and European designer brands
- Selection of fine jewelry.
- Edited assortment of home decor and apothecary goods.
270 Fair Street
WHAT WE LOVE
A womenswear boutique housed in a historic building, featuring contemporary, feminine clothing and accessories. The interior has pretty design details from the painted murals in the dressing room to the dramatic, white-shaded lights installation. Established in 2019 by Design director and home fragrance business owner, Kathryn Hammill. River Mint Finery is located in the Hudson Valley in the upstate New York town of Kingston.
"At River Mint Finery, finding lines where mindfulness meets material has become more and more prevalent as we all want to consume less and feel good about who and what we are supporting."
What makes River Mint Finery unique? It’s all about the mix of products we carry, especially in apparel. We carry young independent designers, European designers, and some more popular mainstream brands. Everything is selected for quality, craft, material, color and texture. We want time spent in our store to be memorable, and most importantly we want women to feel amazing when they leave.
Is there a story behind the shop name, River Mint Finery? The River Mint is actually a river in Cumbria, England where Cindy (previous partner and co-founder) spent a lot of time in her early days. Family heirlooms always inspired an appreciation for the rich architecture, intricate antiques and beautiful jewelry of historic England. I spent a large portion of my childhood at “the river” which referred to the St. Lawrence River and I was heavily influenced by the same tranquil landscape. I continue to draw inspiration from the beauty of historic river towns and with that inspiration comes an element of calm, textural minimalism that is reflected in our store design and product assortment. Our store would always have a large center table layered with jewelry from a finely curated selection of makers and designers that seemed to almost be passed down for generations. The word “mint”, a nod to history, metals and of course the color; reflects old coins and the art of casting metal in contrast to the soft hue which carries a certain level of sophistication in decorative arts and fashion.
What are River Mint Finery’s best-selling or “must-have” products? Anything by Monica Cordera. Her collections are composed of timeless limited edition garments with minimalist designs that seek purity and simplicity. Everything is one size fits all, and is meant to be worn with ease beyond the season for all women.
I would also say jumpsuits by Apiece Apart, cozy knits by local designer Eleven Six all made in Peru, the best worn-in jeans by Levis, hats by Janessa Leone all made in LA, always layered gold chains in different sizes, small delicate stud earrings, and diamonds by Gabriella Artigas, also made in LA. For the perfect fragrance, it’s always No. 4 by Maison Louis Marie, and the Forest candle by Night Space.
Where are River Mint Finery’s products sourced and made? At River Mint Finery, finding lines where mindfulness meets material has become more and more prevalent as we all want to consume less and feel good about who and what we are supporting. We do most of our buying in NY and LA and pre-pandemic we started shopping the Paris market. I am also bringing in more lines from local designers, there is so much product being designed and/or made here in the Hudson Valley which is amazing.
We definitely stand behind the slow fashion movement designing, creating, and buying products for quality and longevity. It is more sustainable, makes life easier, and you can bring items into your home that you know have been made well, thought over, and are meant to last.
Who are River Mint Finery’s customers? Our audience is broad, mostly women ages 30-65, upstate NY locals and also the weekenders from the city as well as international tourists. We are also reaching more men than we anticipated which is amazing.
I have noticed a lot of our customers love to preview online and then come in knowing exactly what they want to see and try on.
Kathryn Hammill, shopkeeper at River Mint Finery
Who inspires you? Michelle Obama and my son Luca
What inspires you? Natural materials and understanding how things are made. And then the usual creative forces: art, architecture, music and wandering around the woods or a city.
Before I was a shopkeeper, I…. worked as Design Director of Decorative Accessories at West Elm and I am also the co-founder of the luxury home fragrance brand, Night Space.
Did you have prior retail experience? No, but I think designing products for West Elm and for my own wholesale collection helped me to really understand the retail side and what people look for in products.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? Sounds clichéd but other than the usual creative side of things related to owning a store, it really is the customers. Talking with them, learning from them, and hopefully making them feel amazing when they walk out the door.
WHAT THE SHOPKEEPER LOVES
Favorite local independent businesses
Village Coffee and Goods
Facets of Earth
Minna in Hudson for beautiful housewares
Deyrolle in Paris
Clic in NYC
General Store in Venice, CA
Kabinet and Kammer in Upstate NY and
La Garconne in NY
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
“This is hands down the hardest question. Everything we have always known and loved about retail is in flux and diving into the core of what originally inspired us has completely changed. We are watching our towns shift, and people and companies are changing the way they do business as well as the way they shop. Only time will tell but where will our towns and cities be without independent retail shops? I think more than ever we all crave more “real” interaction and we are savoring the time we can connect with people who make up our communities and daily lives, if even for a brief moment.’