Westerlind at Saperstein’s has big plans for Millerton’s Main Street
MILLERTON — From housing the long-time family business, Saperstein’s, to the recent collaborative comprised of three retail vendors, the building at 41 Main St. has long stood as a landmark in the village of Millerton. Just in time for the Fourth of July, the site took on a new life as Andrea Westerlind, the owner and operator of Westerlind, officially opened Westerlind at Saperstein’s for business.
“I mean, it’s kind of the best retail location in Millerton,” Westerlind said when asked what drew her to the spot.
“She’s had her eye on the space for a really long time,” said Simon Kristoph, the store’s retail director.
Before coming to Millerton, Westerlind had successfully launched her catalogue of outdoor apparel across the country, with locations in Denver, Colo.; Powder Mountain, Utah; and New York City. She tested out the waters in the Millerton area two summers ago when she collaborated with Evergreen Antiques owner Laurence Fox, opening a temporary shop known as the Pop-Up Shop, at 3 Main St. Customers responded well, and the following summer, Westerlind and Fox partnered with John Allee from Meta 44 to create a collaborative business, again at 3 Main St.
Westerlind said she worked with the seller, James Hendrick, who had tried to revamp the space himself before putting it back on the market. As far as what ultimately sealed the deal, she credited her acquisition to the size of the building — measuring 9,888 square feet — and her ability to fill it.
“It was hard for him to create a concept like this because it’s such a big space,” Westerlind said of Hendrick. “I think most of the retailers around here want a 1,000 square foot space or a 2,000 square foot space. I think the sheer size here is daunting to a lot of retailers — I think you need a lot to fill the space.”
On Monday, June 15, Westerlind signed the papers and the building became hers. Working together with Kristoph, the dynamic duo transformed the space in just eight days, pouring their blood, sweat and tears into every corner of the store, according to Kristoph. Though the store now belongs to Westerlind, the legacy of the former Saperstein’s will be preserved in her business’s namesake.
An avid outdoors-woman at heart, Westerlind’s store encompasses a diverse inventory of outdoor apparel and gear. From backpacks, rain boots and camping gear to Turkish bath towels, French shirts and Scandinavian products, Westerlind prides herself on her ability to “find and curate all the finest goods from around the world.”
“She really lives what she sells — it’s super authentic in that sense,” Kristoph said. “Basically, anything that’s outdoorsy and really cool will end up in this store.”
As far as how the business stands with regard to COVID-19 protocols, its size plays to its advantage as customers can browse through merchandise without crowding. The store is divided into 10 different sections with two pop-up dressing rooms in the rear, with free face masks and hand sanitizer for customers.
Westerlind and Kristoph have been talking with different vendors about bringing in a grocer — sorely needed in the community — possibly with a juice bar, ice cream and/or takeout downstairs; Kristoph said they’re looking at what’s needed to make that possible, including permits, etc. Westerlind added that she would love to test out a cafe in the space as well as an art gallery, and to be able to host events and start a running club for the community.
“We’re never 100% set,” she explained. “We use all our stores as a sales lab where you can test different things… so being here and talking to people is super valuable to us and super fun.”
Westerlind added, “this is our new headquarters and we’re super invested in this spot… so it’s super important that the concept is successful. We’re in it for the long haul.”
Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; details at email@example.com.