Open for Business
Local Entrepreneurs set up Shop
Just in time for the winter holidays, several one-of-a-kind businesses opened their doors in our towns. While offering unusual and extraordinary merchandise not readily sourced nearby, these new businesses share a commitment to quality and service.
“I was looking for office space, not retail,” explains Ayo Hart, proprietor of the new Bedford Hills retail shop, Expect Natural, located at 774 Bedford Rd. Expect Natural is an offshoot of Hart’s already successful company, Dolphin Organics. Hart’s passion for eco-friendly and sustainable products for infants and children, driven by her search for appropriate toxin-free products for her own twin girls, guided her to start Dolphin Organics’ skin and hair care line. “The name, Expect Natural, says it all,” Hart says of her new storefront. “The concept is similar to a person entering a Whole Foods; the idea is our customers can shop here freely and without concern, knowing everything is safe, non-toxic, and made with the utmost care.” In addition to skin, teeth, and hair care products for infants and children, Expect Natural carries gift items, like wooden toys by the French line, Janod; organic bibs; accessories from American-made Organically Cute; jewelry by local artist Samantha Levine; natural cosmetics for tweens; and hands-on crafts, science and model sets.
“White glove service is our thing,” Courtney Caverzasi says of Ride, an equestrian-oriented boutique she recently opened at 648 Old Post Rd. in Bedford Village. Caverzasi is a pro about customer care thanks to her 12-year stint in the equestrian division at the Hermès flagship store in Manhattan. Caverzasi says she chose Bedford Village to open Ride because, “All the top barns are in this area.” Ride features top of the line international brands, including Samshield, Antares, IRH Liberte Sellier, Smith Worthington, Waldhausen, Equiline, and Toklat. And that’s just for the horses! For riders, Ride features the fashion-forward clothing lines Sonnenreiter, as well as DuBarry and J. Brand. Prefer to skip actually getting on a horse but covet a beautiful leather bag? Check out the chic line of Gigi New York leather goods along with beautiful small leather goods from Graphic Image. For the holidays, gift yourself (or your trainer or your dog or horse) with a fancy stitch leather belt, a bling halter, or crystal-studded dog collar. This season’s must-have holiday item that will set you apart in the show ring is a pair of Samshield’s Swarovski crystal gloves.
“Retail is in my blood,” Jessica Harris says. “I knew if I didn’t seize this opportunity, I’d spend the next five years driving past someone else’s interpretation of my dream.” Harris, a former children’s clothes buyer for J. Crew and Ralph Lauren, was thinking of opening her own shop when she saw the “For Rent” sign at 159 Katonah Ave. And James is now her retail baby, named after her third son, James. Featuring infant and children’s lines from Little English, Kissy Kissy, Angel Dear, Beba Bean, Bella Bliss, and Vive La Fete, Ms. Harris’s shop is well-equipped to outfit any beloved child or grandchild. In fact, the Katonah Village shop seems perfectly calibrated to doting grandparents. “I carry all sizes from layette to 4T,” she says. “For the holidays, everyone wants to have a special piece to dress their child in.” With the season in mind, And James is featuring adorable dresses from Rachel Riley patterned in an ice skater motif, as well as winter tutus and hand smocked holiday dresses in snowflake patterns and joyful plaids. For boys, she has lots of bow ties as well as dressy sweaters and plaid pants. And of course, you can never go wrong with a tiny pair of French rain boots.
“Flowers make people so happy,” says Dana Warlock. “I love the expressions on my clients’ faces when they walk in the door.” A longtime Pound Ridge resident, Warlock opened Hedgerow, a floral shop in Scotts Corners just in time to deck her clients’ halls with boughs of holly and trim their trees. “You can buy flowers here on short notice or work with me to plan events,” explains Warlock, who has been a flower professional for 15 years. The shop will also be offering classes in flower arrangement and floral decorating; a wreath making class is scheduled for December.