WHAT WE LOVE: A modern-day general store with a distinctive blue color palette, where everyday essentials sit comfortably alongside precious items for day to day life.
WHERE: Housed in a historic building dating from the 1800’s in the charming Hampton’s village of Amagansett.
WHO: Former model, fashion editor and stylist, Tiina Laakkonen.
Why did you chose the name Tiina the Store? I had a file on my computer desktop called “Tiina the Store” for years. Having a store was always a dream of mine and I used to save ideas of products into that file.
Who designed Tiina the Store? We renovated an old late 19th century merchant’s building. The project was a collaboration between my husband and myself. The display units were designed by Faye Toogood.
What is Tiina the Store best known for? We specialize in artisanal luxury and niche brands. Our biggest selling category is women’s clothing.
What are Tiina’s the Store’s “must-have” products? Anything by Arts & Science or Daniela Gregis and our own cashmere collection.
What makes Tiina the Store unique? We specialize in artisanal luxury and niche brands. Our selection is tightly curated and many of the products are exclusive to our store.
Who are your customers? Sophisticated and stylish, well traveled people interested in arts and culture. I like to think that we have the best customers.
How has the internet impacted your business? We have a worldwide customer base thanks to our online store. We ship everywhere!
How have you adapted your business to the coronavirus pandemic? Our online store is doing well. We also have an online “Personal Styling” service where we work with clients on Zoom.
Tiina Laakkonen, shopkeeper at Tiina the Store
Before I was a shopkeeper, I… worked in fashion for a very long time. I studied fashion design in Paris, worked along Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, became a fashion editor at British Vogue and ended up in NY as a freelance fashion stylist.
Who inspires you? I’m inspired by all the strong and independent women I work with at TIINA the STORE; artisans, designers, makers, dreamers.
What inspires you? Japan always inspires me.
Why did you open your shop? I always wanted to have a store where I could sell my favorite things. I liked the idea of editing and curating a retail space. Telling my story.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? Working with my wonderful staff and all the incredible designers and makers we collaborate with.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? The world doesn’t need another shop but there’s always room for a real vision and point of view. Don’t follow the rules, make your own. And finally: be ready to work hard!
If you weren’t a shopkeeper… I’d live in Kyoto.
What are your most precious possessions? My engagement ring, my Birger Kaipiainen ceramics and my cat, Teddy.
What are your favorite shops? Arts & Science in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Do you have any favorite Instagram Accounts? Any of my friends’ or family. No influencers please.
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
“I don’t think anybody knows. Our store is off the beaten track both physically and philosophically. We are not part of any fashions or trends. Our products are unique and timeless and therefore it sets us apart from most. I believe that we’ve built a sustainable business with a solid customer base that recognizes our strengths and uniqueness.”
Photography: Christopher Sturman @sturman70
216 Main Street, Amagansett NY
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