North Found, an antique shop located in Peconic, is housed in a shingled building nestled amidst the North Fork’s vineyards and farmlands. Established in 2012 by interior designer Hadley Wiggins, the store is a mix of vintage finds and global goods discovered on her travels. Hadley has created an authentic experience at North Found, both inside and out, her eye for detail, editing and design allows the inherent beauty and authenticity of the objects to shine through.
Who designed the shop? The 19th century bones of the building do all the heavy lifting in terms of design. Other than one wall of simple white painted shelving the store is “decorated” by the merchandise and as a result it is always different, a new place entirely as the stock evolves, everything one of a kind. I source the inventory with one thing in mind: would I buy this item for my own home? As a result the goods, while being as diverse as a paint chipped framed oil painting to a mid century lamp, have a common thread that I aim to showcase in the store set, a compilation of unique and eclectic objects used to create a cohesive environment.
What are your best selling items? This is hard to answer as 95% of the inventory is one of a kind. Counter to what a retail business probably ‘should’ do, I don’t source goods based on selling trends, but rather I strictly purchase items that I love, be it a well worn Berber rug or a refurbished 1950’s all original stove. To me, this is the only way to be authentically North Found – my hope is that you don’t know exactly what you’re going to find in the shop each time you return and while it is a reliable stop on your hunt for a unique desk lamp, you might end up buying the tiny leather letter pouch you never expected to find.
Where do you source your goods? I head out on antique buying trips every month, traveling the eastern coast of America and Europe a couple of times a year, climbing through old barns and hitting village flea markets at sunrise.
What makes your shop unique? Everything inside.
Who are your customers? One of the most interesting things about selling antiques is to witness how an item affects an individual – you can just see it when someone finds an object that speaks to them. I love that antique items can be for anyone, any age, and each item holds a different meaning or intention. I will see a older gentleman marvel at the pristine condition of a Swiss Amy chest, recalling details of the one he saw during his travels many years ago, while a younger gentleman talks of how beautifully the painted sides will coordinate with his bedroom décor…
How has the internet impacted your business? Tucked away on a sleepy country lane I find that many people discover us via social media and get a glimpse of our merchandise on the store website.
Hadley Wiggins, shopkeeper at North Found
Who inspires you? Interior Designer, Ilsa Crawford and Robin Standefer/Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams.
What inspires you? Homes… I can’t ever get enough of looking at real homes, walking or driving by them, touring them, pouring over images of them, any which way, I love to look at homes…
Before I was a shopkeeper, I….was and still am an interior designer.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? You’ll always want to do more.
What task do you like to delegate? Selling. I’m a terrible salesperson because if I see that someone really loves something I will be inclined to give them a discount beyond what I should! I am very fortunate to have an amazing store manager, Kate Moriarty, and other wonderful staff who keep me in check.
The best lesson you have learned opening a shop? If you choose to do something that you enjoy the hard work is something you can enjoy as well.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Start small so you can learn on the job with as little pressure as possible. Experiment.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop? Interior Designer, Ilse Crawford.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be..? An antique hoarder.
What is your perfect day off? Family time…a lobster roll and a nap.
Favorite neighborhood coffee shop or restaurant: Orient Country Store, Orient, NY.
I wish I could… expand North Found without actually having to change or move away form our very special location.
On the Future of Retail
“While online antique buying is ever growing, I don’t think it can ever replace the experience of “antiquing” – the hunt, the discovery… I think we are uniquely protected from the sad reality that online and big box stores are devastating our local retailers. I think the future of brick and mortar retail will be brightest for those stores that sell specialty and unique merchandise.”
2845 Peconic Lane, Peconic, New York
Photo of Hadley Wiggins by Howie Guja