A popular Orient store is back after re-inventing itself.
The door of Orient Linen Company, situated inside a small, former 19th-century Village Lane barbershop, stood wide open on a recent sunny afternoon. It was a welcoming sight that invites you to walk right in.
This summer, owner Janet Markarian has joined forces with a partner, Jackie McKee, to present the store as a pop-up offering their goods as well as those of other local artisans.
“The response has been very good, people think it’s charming,” McKee said on Friday. “We’ve had good feedback and pretty good sales. Plus it’s great to see Janet open again because she developed quite a following and people were disappointed when she wasn’t open.”
Already a successful textile manufacturer, Markarian originally opened Orient Linen Company to sell her custom-made linens and vintage textiles. Soon, her job as a real estate broker took her away from the store and it closed for several years.
“Janet has a base of people who know who she is,” McKee said. “This spring we started talking and she said, ‘why don’t we try something, put your stuff in, you do it, I don’t really have time and let’s see what kind of interest we can generate.’”
A former art director and creative director at Random House and Conde Nast, McKee now produces her own line of canvas and linen products called “Local Lure.” Items include totes, wine bottles bags and pillows. She also sells repurposed furniture and vintage postcards in the shop.
“I always did graphic stuff and this I’ve done for years and thought to myself, making local items would be pretty interesting,” she said.
In addition to Markarian and McKee’s works, ceramic vessels made by Dena Zemsky of Greenport and hand-carved wooden fish by Will Knoedler, also of Greenport, are on display. The shop also features a small “yard sale corner” with a rotating selection of vintage finds.
“We’re experimenting with it for the summer and then we’ll make a decision [on whether or not to continue] come the fall,” McKee said. “We just figured this was a great opportunity to see what we can do together.”