WHAT WE LOVE: A menswear, gift and curiosity shop that embodies the mood of “Upstate & Chill”; their own branded clothing named for a movement that gets people to slow down, appreciate life and stay curious about the world around them.
WHERE: Historic Kingston, a town on the Hudson River in upstate New York.
WHO: Clark Hamilton Chaine and Andrew Adam Addotta.
What year was Hamilton & Adams established? We opened April 8th, 2017.
What motivated you to open Hamilton & Adams? Many years of experience in the industry and a passion to carve our own path.
Did you have prior retail experience? Andrew has 20 years experience, but Clark is a retail novice.
Is there a story behind the name Hamilton & Adams? We wanted to connect to the historical DNA of the area (nearly every US founding father ran through Kingston at some point), but yet we also wanted the brand relate back to us, so the name Hamilton & Adams are our two middle names.
Who designed the shop? We did. Form & Function was the goal. It’s a constant evolution.
What are your best known for? Our own product line “Upstate & Chill” and “Stay Curious” tagline, the binocular icon, and our Catskill adventure series.
Where do you source and make your products?Hamilton & Adams products are American made and where possible we work with local craftspeople, and other small business owners to help develop out products. For example, our t-shirts are designed with a local designer and printed here in Kingston. Our candles from from a small boutique vendor in Catskill.
What makes your shop unique? Custom products, high-touch custom service and a well curated shop and collection of products makes us definitely unique, especially in the Hudson Valley. Andrew was at LVMH for many years so the shop is refined and meticulous while being accessible and comfortable.
Who are your customers?Locals, both men and women, weekenders and visitors to the Hudson Valley. Curious consumers from across the country and around the world who follow us on Instagram and HamiltonandAdams.com.
How has the internet impacted your business? The internet and social media enable us to have a local shop that is highly personal while reaching an national/global audience.
Clark Hamilton Chaine and Andrew Adam Addotta
Who inspires you? Other entrepreneurs and innovators – the hustle is real and unless you’re doing it – you don’t realize how real. Creative designers and people who challenge the status quo.
What inspires you? The region around us and the rich history of the area.
Before I was a shopkeeper, we …. Andrew: ran other peoples shops! Nearly nine years at LVMH and eight at Gap Brand. Clark: I’m not a shopkeeper, I am a marketer and continue to be a marketer to this day.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? It’s not as easy as we thought. Everything falls on us, very few options to delegate.
What task do you like to delegate?It’s great when we have a guest in the shop who finds a task they enjoy! It can be anything, if it comes off our list!
The best lesson you have learned opening a shop? You are never done. You have to take a break and come back fresh.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Don’t be afraid to ask for help (you’re going to need it).
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop?We have a few famous clients now, who enjoy the anonymity of shopping locally.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be..?A hotelier.
What is your perfect day off? Time in the woods, exploring and being curious
Which are your five favorite shops? Colette, even though this Paris shop is closed I think it’s important that people still reference it and remember how pioneering it was. Finch in Hudson; Todd Snyder in NYC; Taylor Stitch, San Francisco & Kamakura, Japan; and Brimfield, Chicago.
I wish I could… Connect with more people
On the Future of Retail
“The future of retail is being able to take consumers on a value driven experiential adventure.
Keeping your finger on the pulse and leveraging social media (Instagram) to create the mood and capture the sale.
The in-shop experience must wow and delight the consumer – the quality of communication, entertainment, travel, etc. is so elevated now that retail must follow suit – retail will become the intersection of commerce and event planning – not dissimilar to what Studio 54 did for nightlife back in the 1970. The elevated experiences that capture attention and take consumers on a unique journey will win.”
32 John Street, Kingston, NY
Photography by Harrison Lubin