North Found & Co. deals in found objects and, in a sense, Hadley Wiggins-Marin is one of them.
Before the North Fork “found her,” she had no history with the area and, despite growing up in New York City, had always summered on (gasp!) Martha’s Vineyard. But 10 years ago, while casually house-hunting in Sag Harbor with her Italian then-boyfriend, now her husband, an astute realtor redirected them to the North Fork. The couple toured five homes in one day, closed on one three weeks later, then showed up at their 1920s New Suffolk farmhouse on a motorcycle with no furniture.
“We had never even spent a night on the North Fork, but knew it was right,” Wiggins-Marin said. “It’s a barefoot, open-land, cook-at-home, no-frills community filled with fascinating and talented people who largely keep to themselves.”
Yes, home might be where the heart is, but you still need to fill the house.
This sentiment drove the couple to create North Found & Co. — a two-pronged North Fork business featuring interior design services and a vintage general store filled with objects, furnishings, clothing and accessories, all located on a beautiful rural stretch in Peconic. Both businesses cater to locals and the growing second-home community, bringing Wiggins-Marin’s vision into each home.
“The store has been a wonderful way to introduce North Found aesthetically, even though the store environment is decidedly more rustic and country than much of my design work, which is actually 90 percent of the business,” she said. “I find the layered antique aesthetic satisfying though I equally enjoy stripping things down, placing that perfect, patinated piece in a clean, open environment.”
A love for design runs deep for Wiggins-Marin, who began her career in design and advertising at Ralph Lauren (where her husband, Daniele, still works as a menswear designer). She also works as an interior designer in New York City when she’s not designing North Fork interiors, and cites her parents’ influence on North Found’s treasure-hunt aesthetic.
“I grew up with a country pantry that was merchandised to photo-shoot perfection for no other reason than our family’s enjoyment,” she says. “These aesthetic sensitivities run through our blood and bring us so much joy. There are no rules about what comes into the store — the only common thread is that everything is something I love and would use in my own home or a client’s project. I love mixing styles and genres — each piece has to stand up on its own, with its own design integrity. You can mix almost anything so long as it has great design and craftsmanship.”
That love for craftsmanship is what has inspired the couple to move this year into an 1880s farmhouse in Cutchogue and rent out their 1920s home. “We’re always paying attention to what’s happened to the historic homes on the North Fork — devastated when we see them come down and thrilled when we see someone take the hard route and embark on a restoration,” she said. “We took on the Cutchogue farmhouse restoration for the love of the house and desire to protect and preserve its history.”
Wiggins-Marin’s design sense and sourcing capabilities extend beyond North Fork borders, too, putting a unique twist on the typical farmhouse chic aesthetic. “North Found is stocked with some local finds, but the majority of our goods come from our travels across the U.S. and Europe,” she said, noting that she joins her husband when he travels back to Italy and makes annual trips around the region to source treasures. “My husband also serves as an informal North Found consultant, contributing the odd item to the store. And I mean that literally, as he loves oddities and bizarre, rare finds.”
Even though customers might have to Google some items at the store to understand what the heck they are (most recently, for example, a French medical irrigator tool made from brass), others can just appreciate them for the material, shape or patina.
“We have a lovely optometrist who comes in looking for eye- and spectacle-related items,” she said. “We usually have something for him as I also love that category as well.”
Overall, you never know what you’re going to find at North Found, and that’s the beauty of it. “I think the discovery is part of the fun and what sets us apart. We’re not the reliable store where you know you can always find X or Y. We are more the place you find the thing you didn’t know you wanted but now won’t ever give up.”
There’s also a wonderful synergy in having an antique store and complementary design business, and indeed many design clients started as store customers and vice versa.
“Having my own antique store allows me to purchase goods that I may or may not use in an ongoing client project,” Wiggins-Marin said. “Plus I can source goods for my clients at a huge savings — a designer’s back stock that we open to the public. And if you get to it first, it’s yours.”
North Found and Co. can be located at 2845 Peconic Lane in Peconic.