Where Rondout Creek meets the Hudson River in Kingston, NY lies Clove & Creek’s Broadway Street store, which was opened by Scott Neild and his close friend Michael Cook six years ago. A few years later, they opened their second shop on Warren Street in Hudson.
Scott grew up in Illinois before moving east to NYC 12 years ago, and upstate four years later. His background is in musical theatre, “a really fun time in my life”, he says, then event planning, and finally shopkeeping. Alongside Michael, he began doing pop-up markets in Delaware County, before opening the first brick-and-mortar store. “I definitely tap into those experiences with what I’m doing here,” he says. “I often say to my team, shopping at a small business is an experience. You know people are going there to find beautiful things, but also to feel something. We really want to make sure that everyone who walks in the door feels comfortable and at home.” Storytelling is also crucial. “We need to be knowledgeable about everything we have, so we can tell those stories,” he adds.
Kingston stood out to Scott as the perfect location due to its growing creative community. “There are a lot of artists and makers here, and it feels quite unique in the Hudson Valley,” he explains. “Of course people travel up here at the weekends, but it has a true year-round community, too.” The draw of Hudson was its innovation. “It also has a really diverse community, and fantastic restaurants and retail spaces.”
The interiors of Clove & Creek stores also deeply contribute to the atmosphere. The Warren Street store has a lighter shade on the walls, while the Broadway Street store is dark and moody. The light from the large window falls onto a dark interior for a sense of drama. Vintage furniture is a common thread through the stores. “I think the juxtaposition between old furniture and new objects can hopefully inspire people to mix and match in their homes.” A candle is always burning, one of the first sensory experiences customers experience as they walk through the door.
Day-to-day, Scott can be found in his stores or discovering new brands as Clove & Creek’s main buyer. “Often I find my friends have some of the most interesting pieces. My phone is full of notes on different brands I need to check out, or places I want to visit.” He is particularly drawn to natural materials, such as linen, wood and stone. This makes TOAST clothing the perfect fit in the store. “It’s also the silhouettes,” Scott says. “I love the roomier shapes, the colours. The pieces also look so beautiful beside homeware items, like a beautiful bowl. They talk with each other. There’s a real common thread running through the homeware pieces I source, and what TOAST is creating with their clothes. It’s a lifestyle – working with TOAST has always felt like a perfect marriage of sensibilities.”
Nautical inflections have always run through Scott’s selection of pieces, fitting particularly well with the TOAST seasonal theme, Open Water. “Clove is an old Dutch word for ravine, so it appears in a lot of street names around here. The Kaaterskill Falls is a waterfall in the area – it’s a common setting in the River Valley in the Catskills. So I wanted to create the image of a ravine and creek, a kind of pastoral scene that reflects the natural elements in our stores.”
Interview by Alice Simkins Vyce.
Photographs courtesy of Ruth Smith and Clove & Creek.
A curated selection of the TOAST collection can be found at Clove & Creek 73 Broadway Street, Kingston and 613 Warren Street, Hudson. Look out for the new Clove & Creek shop in Province Town, opening in May.