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The Phoebe & Bell space hosted a popup art gallery during the pandemic in 2021. (Credit: Kathy Perretta)

The pandemic forced a number of businesses to pivot, change models or close altogether. When Sounds, a Brooklyn-based design studio selling body, home and health products, had to close their original shop in Park Slope during the pandemic, creative director Ester Kislin found a way to keep the brand alive. 

“We have always been connected to Long Island, so our family relocated to the North Fork and we brought the shop concept with us,” Kislin said. The store now finds a home next to the Jamesport Farmstead space in a new format — as a popup. 

“We hope this may become a permanent project but it’s hard to say in the early stages,” she continued. “As a young, small, family-owned and operated business coming out of COVID times, we are moving forward with caution.” This popup which will open this Saturday, selling everything from beach towels to soap to jewelry. “At Sounds, we create and curate meticulously crafted goods for life, work and home,” Kislin said. “We focus on carrying products that are sustainably and ethically-sourced.” 

She feels that their products fit in well with the North Fork community. “Locally grown and harvested food and wine, among other things, can be easy to come by in the area,” she said. “We love the idea of offering goods with a similar mission. Local, ethical and sustainable objects for daily life.”

Sounds isn’t the only popup finding a temporary home on the North Fork. The shop Phoebe & Belle is hosting an art gallery to benefit CAST. “In early 2020, I was preparing to wind down Phoebe & Belle in its current form,” Kathy Perretta, owner, said. “After seven successful and fulfilling years, I felt like I accomplished what I had set out to do.” When the pandemic hit, she accelerated her plans to retire, but still had an unused empty space. 

“I thought we could do something great for two groups — showcase artists that have been lacking gallery space and provide awareness and funds for CAST’s capital campaign for their new home in the former Southold Opera House,” she said. All the proceeds will go to the nonprofit, and all the artists were brought in by Wendy Prellwitz, who is curating the show.

The popup has a two-fold benefit of helping artists and CAST and also gives a purpose to the old lifestyle shop. “The building at Phoebe & Belle has been part of the community since the 1860’s as a meeting place for the community,” Perretta said. 

The beauty of a popup is it’s only temporary, allowing for business to test out new products and designs. Sounds hopes to make the North Fork its permanent home, using the Jamesport popup as a way to test the waters. But with Phoebe & Belle, the future is still unclear.

“Who knows what the future will bring?” Perretta said. “The building has been on the market, so making a long-term commitment to gallery space is not in the cards at the moment. However, ask me again next year.”

Sounds will open on Saturday June 19 at 12 p.m. with hours after that being Thursday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 1146 Main Rd, Jamesport next to the Jamesport Farmstead.

The Phoebe & Belle ART popup  from Thursday June 17 through the end of July, Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 37070 Main Road, Cutchogue.