How did Huxter come to be?
Huxter was created with the idea of marrying luxury and utility into a brand that is representative of its birthplace: the New England coast. All of us here at Huxter have ties to this rugged landscape and, over the years, we have found ourselves coming back to our home more and more often to do one thing with each other—surf. We love the way the ever-shifting New England seasons provide us with a different ocean every morning, demanding us to adapt and accept whatever the sea wants to show us. We like how the sea dictates our relationship with our surroundings and, more importantly, with our friends who join us along the way.
This is where Huxter was born. We wanted to create something that would bring together all of those who knew what it was like to sit on a windblown beach in the fall and surf in gently falling snow in the winter. And for those who hadn’t had this opportunity, we wanted to bring our experience to them.
You guys are a seasonal store, how does this affect the mix of your customer base?
Our store opens at the beginning of May and closes in October. This is our first year in business so we are still trying to figure out how to handle the end of our season. We've found that people of all ages love Huxter - kids love our tee's and chambrays, men love our oxfords and women love our home goods and design books. Everyone seems to love our eclectic art wall as well. We will probably do some trunk shows in order to spread the Huxter name and also be launching our e-commerce site. Ideally, we will have a second location open within the next year.
Tell us more of how and why New England is such an inspiration for the store?
Huxter has been truly shaped by New England - its landscape, homes, people, weather and all of their constantly shifting moods. I've always been struck by how New Englanders can make it through harsh winters year after year only to seamlessly slip into their beach attire during the summer as if none of the gray days, sleet and snow had ever occurred. It toughens us all up quite a bit and makes the cool April days tolerable in just a light sweater. Towards the end of summer, when our skin has seen all the sun it can handle, we welcome cool fall days with boots and vests, almost looking forward to the first snowfall.
This ability to adjust to the weather and appreciate the landscape as it changes is what Huxter pays closest attention to: it is creating a beautiful life filled with well made objects that can stand the test of time and the changing of the days.
We are big time foodies, what are some go-to restaurants in the area?
We are quite blessed with some great restaurants in Rhode Island. Providence has too many to mention so we'll keep it more local. Go to The Cooked Goose for breakfast and get an egg sandwich (make sure to dip it in their Green Goose hot sauce). Get a pre-beach iced coffee at Dave's Coffee just up the road. It is locally roasted and will keep you moving during your bike/surf/build sand castles triathlon. For lunch, check out Ten Sandwiches. They are right across the street from us in Watch Hill and they use Rhode Island meats, cheeses, breads and vegetables. The Olympia Tearoom is the best place in town to watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail. For a really amazing farm to table dinner, check out The Oyster Club in Mystic, CT, just over the border from Watch Hill. The menu changes nightly and will never disappoint. Finish the night with a scoop of homemade ice cream from The St. Clair Annex right next door to Huxter.
I'm visiting RI; describe the perfect day to really get to know the NE lifestyle and area?
To live a truly authentic New England summer day, it must start with coffee on the patio (really, all mornings should). The quiet mornings always have a slight hint of salt water and beach rose in the air. A bike is my preferred method of transportation to the beach. And take your time - some of the best summer homes can only be seen while idling along. The waves aren't that great on the East Coast during the summer, so make sure you have a long board at the beach. Watch Hill has some beautiful beaches but the most unique is Napa tree, a mile and a half long stretch of dune and sand that extends out into the ocean towards Long Island Sound. The water is crystal clear and the sand a blinding white. Before the devastating Hurricane of 1938 it was lined with beautiful, shingle sided beach homes. The morning after the storm, it was just sand - everything had been washed away.
The New England coast has always been an inspirational reminder of our delicate and dynamic relationship with the ocean.
Many thanks to our friends at Huxter for welcoming us into their fantastic shop and sharing its story.
147 Bay Street
Watch Hill, Rhode Island