Manhattan-based interior designer Hadley Wiggins and her fiancé, clothing designer Daniele Marin, were relaxing at their second home in New Suffolk last October when they decided to drive over to White Flower Farmhouse, a vintage antiques store that had been on Peconic Lane.
The couple had shopped at the store many times, so they were surprised to see a note in the window announcing it had moved to a new location in Southold. Almost instantly, Ms. Wiggins said, she and Mr. Marin began thinking about leasing the space and opening their own shop.
“My fiancé and I looked at each other. We had almost a silent conversation and decided on the spot, ‘We have to have this space.’ ” Ms. Wiggins said.
They bought it, and only a month later had transformed the store into North Found, an eclectic general store filled with a mix of antique and vintage finds as well as handmade and curated goods from around the world. Standout items include vintage first aid kits, handmade espadrilles from Spain, antique stoneware imported from England and, uniquely, a heavy black security guard clock.
“People ask me, ‘What’s in the store? What do you sell?’ and it can be difficult to explain because there are no limitations,” said Ms. Wiggins, who grew up in Manhattan and Martha’s Vineyard and began her career working in design for Ralph Lauren. “It’s really a lifestyle collection. It changes constantly, and that’s a big goal of ours. We want to make sure that even if you come in every week you feel like you’re in a different space and something has changed, because that’s what we loved about shopping here previously – that sense of discovery.”
Ms. Wiggins discovers the objects she sells mainly by picking through items at estate sales and old barns. She also has a network of people who do the same for her throughout New England, a region she likes to source from to avoid competition with other sellers on the North Fork. Mr. Marin’s mother, who lives in Milan, Italy, also ships items she finds for the store, like old linens.
Sourcing objects from a large geographic area has served North Found well. The store, which has a utilitarian, industrial theme, has items for sale like a 100-year-old Shaker meetinghouse bench and never-worn sunglasses made in the 1960s. There are even wooden infant-sized shoe molds — a personal favorite of Ms. Wiggins — and antique linen-covered books. Clean-burning soy candles with scents like lilac powder and white tea that Ms. Wiggins makes by hand are also for sale.
“You can always find something that might have once had a utilitarian purpose and then give it some sort of decorative purpose,” she said of North Found’s merchandise.
“One of our motivations is having things that are rare, but accessible,” Ms. Wiggins said. “We think it’s nice energy to have something in your home that has history.”