Hartland on Hudson is a beautiful, sunny coffee and stationery shop in a small upstate NY village. Emily Johnson founded her card and stationery company, Hartland Brooklyn, in 2012. Whilst searching for a larger studio space in Brooklyn or upstate NY, Emily and her husband, Nic Cameron, came across an old General Store/Post office in Leeds NY. The space was perfect and because it also came with a handsome storefront the concept of Hartland on Hudson was born. The shop opened in Fall 2016.
Who designed the shop? We kept the original shelves on one side of the shop (which is the coffee bar) that were built into the space in the1920s. Emily designed the wallpaper and worked with a local woodworker based in Athens NY (T. Alfeld design) to build the card shelves and window tables. Nic’s brother (Brandon Cameron, brandco design) came up from Texas to built the display table. Matt Hogan from Reliquary Studio (based in Germantown NY) built out the bar and poured the cement countertop.
What are you famous for? The maple lattes a favorite, especially in the fall.
Where are your product sourced? We serve Irving farm coffee and Harney and Sons tea, which are both based in Millertown NY. Emily’s cards are designed in her studio behind the shop, and offset printed in Brooklyn. We also sell some home good items that are always changing, but mostly from local artists.
What makes your shop unique? The one of a kind stationery and bright cheery décor.
Who are your customers? We have a good mix of locals and people that weekend in the Catskills. The summer will bring a lot more visitors from out of town to explore everything our area has to offer.
Has the internet impacted your business? Instagram has spread the word about our shop, and as for Emily’s stationery business, the internet let us leave a bustling city and stay connected to her customer base. It’s pretty amazing (and fortunate!) that these days you can work from anywhere.
Who inspires you? It’s inspiring to see all the entrepreneurs making it happen here in the Hudson Valley/Catskills.
What inspires you? We both love to go on hikes on the beautiful trails that surround us in the Catskills. We haven’t been able to lately since Olive was born, but hope to once it gets warmer with our dog Rufus.
Before we were shopkeepers…. Emily worked as an underwear designer and then accessory designer in a NYC fashion company, Nic worked as a live sound engineer in Brooklyn, NYC, and at gigs around the world.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? Making sacrifices in the beginning, but it was worth it!
What task do you like to delegate? For the shop, Nic is the only person working at the moment since it is so new. Emily does have some help fulfilling wholesale orders in the studio behind the shop.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Listen to your local customers and your community. We first started out only offering espresso, but because people kept asking for drip coffee we added it to the menu. We want to make a space that everyone feels comfortable and confident grabbing a great cup of coffee.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop? Emily – Patti Smith / Nic – Barack Obama
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be.. Emily is still a stationery designer and Nic is still a sound engineer.
What is your perfect day off? Summer: taking a hike, or hanging out at our local creek/swimming hole
Favorite neighborhood restaurant. Gracie’s, Leeds.
On the Future of Retail
“Its definitely tougher with the internet (and amazon!) but I think people are also finding it important to support small family owned businesses. Luckily for us, coffee is something that people will always seek out, and while they are visiting they can buy a birthday card.”
1130 Main St., Leeds, NY