Palmer & Purchase owner Abbie Durkin, at right, with Diana Jankovsky in the midst of the reconstruction
A New Palmer & Purchase Opening Soon
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Clutch is relocating across the street to the old Parkers space. The spacious shop will open its doors as Palmer & Purchase the first week of August with more of the women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry, and gift items patrons have come to love.
“We know our customers well. They are our friends and neighbors and we go into the market with them in mind to source the freshest items that suit their lifestyle,” said owner Abbie Durkin, who lives here with husband Michael and their kids, Graham, 9, and Archie, 5. “Rye is a throwback in the best possible sense. People shop local.”
Abbie certainly knows her customer and retail quite intimately. Not only has she worked with her mother Judy Graham in shops at Larchmont and Rye, she worked at the old Candy Nichols children’s store on Purchase Street years ago.
In 2010, Abbie opened the original Clutch with her mother on Palmer Avenue in Larchmont and they opened the second store on Purchase Street five years ago. She has since become the sole owner and changed its name to Palmer & Purchase. “For the purposes of social media, it’s easier to have an identifying name that people can find,” explained Abbie, who discovered there was a surplus of stores with the same moniker nationally.
Spearheading the opening of the new location, as well as a Palmer & Purchase in West Hampton, is Abbie’s right hand, Diana Jankovsky. They met eight years ago when Abbie bought one of the lines Diana represented.
“When I first opened in Rye, I wanted to grow the business, so I told Diana she always had a job here,” said Abbie. “I have a vision and Diana helps make it a reality. She’s a vision maker.”
Diana, who also lives in Rye with husband Brian and their two children Edward, 6, and Lua, 4, has introduced new brands and expanded Palmer & Purchase’s private label, most notably a cashmere line of wraps and tops. They work with factories directly in order to pass on the savings to their customers.
“The focus is on a unique brand mix. The market can be saturated with the same brands, whether in department stores or on-line,” noted Diana. “We try hard to find unique designers at great price points, things that are beautiful, special, and accessible.”
“We also try to change it up daily, not just seasonally,” added Abbie. “Customers can walk in on a Monday and see the whole store is different on Wednesday.” She buys small batches from a wide range of designers, from a local Greenwich designer Asha’s fine jewelry to Lola Australia’s versatile beachy wear. “No one wants to see themselves coming and going at school pickup or on the morning train in the same outfit.”
The new space provides a clean, fresh, bright backdrop for all their wares with, high ceilings, light wood floors, and modern white bamboo chandeliers. To preserve a little of the space’s rich history, Abbie is refinishing Catherine Parker’s antique merchandise cases with white lacquer. She’s also pleased about refurbishing the back patio and installing a black awning with a P & P logo (“remember the iconic Greeley store’s blue awning?”).
To bring in a bit of local color, she has commissioned local photographer Cristina Lozito, who takes distinctive photographs of Playland, Oakland Beach, and other Rye landmarks. In addition, the space is large enough to accommodate their office, where all new merchandise is processed by Operations Coordinator Tracy Goldberg and Operations Manager Nadine Rote.
As far as the insurgence of on-line shopping, Abbie is confident Palmer & Purchase can hold its own. As Diana remarked, “Buy now, wear now. If something looks pretty right there and then and is affordable, there’s no need to search online.”
<Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9:30-6
http://palmerandpurchase.com & Instagram @ PalmerandPurchase