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Pop-Ups in New Preston

by Kathryn Boughton

Spring is popping up all over and so are stores in places where their patrons would not normally expect to find them. Two New Preston outlets are currently involved in “pop-up” activity, one bringing Waterworks, a high-end Danbury-based purveyor of bath products, to Privet House and the other taking Seitz & Co. products to Chappaqua NY where the marketing genius of Joanna and Amanda Seitz is making a splash at the long-established menswear store, Family Britches.

Both Privet House and Family Britches will hold open houses this weekend to introduce their guests to local clientele. The Family Britches/Seitz & Co. open house will be held from 1 to 4 PM at 70 King St. in Chappaqua, while Privet House will host Barbara Sallick of Waterworks at its 13 East Shore Road in New Preston from 3 to 5 PM.

Joanna Seitz said she and daughter, Amanda, were invited to set up their pop-up store in Chappaqua by the owners of Family Britches, a men’s clothing store in business since 1970. “They had been clients of our store for years,” said Seitz, “and they admired what we were doing with women’s clothing and our lifestyle look. They invited us to do a pop-up store on three floors of their Chappaqua store.”

The Seitzes jumped at the chance. “It was a great opportunity to bring our look to a new location,” said Seitz. Family Britches, meanwhile, benefits by “shaking up the environment in their store with a new approach.”

She said Family Britches has an affluent clientele, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have responded strongly to the Seitz presence there. Indeed, it has proved so successful, there is talk of continuing the experiment past this year.

“Hillary was just in the store,” Seitz said, “and spent 45 minutes walking around and looking at things and complimenting what she saw. Unfortunately, I had just left the store.”

Setting up the pop-up outlet took a prodigious effort, according to Seitz. She said Family Britches compressed the amount of floor space it used in the 8,000-square-foot outlet, giving over the main floor and three loft spaces to Seitz & Co. “It’s really a capsule version of what we do here in New Preston,” she said. “It took an enormous amount of work because we did everything from taking out dropped ceilings to expose the interesting beams and lighting to painting all the walls nimbus gray. We bought all new industrial rolling racks to give it a modern, industrial look, but at the same time it is warm and inviting because of all the upholstery and furniture throughout.”

She said the change in the store’s environment is giving its clients a welcome surprise. “I can always tell when someone has just come in for the first time because I will hear them say, ‘Wow, this is amazing,’” said Seitz. “It’s giving the clients a surprise and something unexpected.”

Something unexpected is what retailing is all about these days, she continued. “These days with everyone shopping online, the retail world needs new excitement, new ideas and new directions. It’s more about the whole concept and look. I think consumers are always waiting to be surprised and want an experience. I think pop-up stores will happen more and more in the future.”

Along with the element of the unexpected, she said it is necessary to give consumers a reason to buy and, in the case of Seitz & Co., that reason is American and artisan-made products.

Seitz & Co.’s 9 East Shore Road location in New Preston is open Monday through Saturday, 10 AM until 5:30 PM and Sunday 11 AM until 5 PM.

Privet House has also embraced the element of surprise and change a pop-up experience can provide. It has already held a number of pop-up displays in its tiny outlet, which announces itself as “an emporium of home goods, antiques and curiosities.”

It’s latest pop-up, Waterworks, is displaying a well-curated assortment of luxury bath furnishings, including stylish accessories, luxurious bath linens—including its handsome new blue-and-white striped beach towels—and apothecary items. “Singularly or collective, the Waterworks collections layer seamlessly to create, in the words of co-founder Barbara Sallick, ‘The Perfect Bath,’” according to store co-owners Suzanne Cassano and Richard Lambertson.

“We were thrilled to be invited to create a pop-up shop at Privet Lives,” said Barbara Sallick. “We are in the good company of Norma Kamali, Alicia Adams, Stubbs and Wootton amongst many others who have been presented there.”

Founded in 1978, Waterworks is regarded as a premier design resource dedicated to the development and manufacture of world-class bath and kitchen products. Fundamental to the firm's impressive success is its commitment to excellence, rigorous quality standards, impeccable style, reliance on top-notch materials and collaborations with designers, craftsmen and artisans the world over. Founded and based in Danbury, Waterworks has an international reach.

The pop-up display at Privet Lives will be on view through May 29th and can be visited during store hours, Thursday – Sunday 11AM through 5:30 PM.