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Kim Gillin and Linda Vernillo are two of the three owners of Island Farmhouse at the Shoppes at East Wind. (Credit: Tara Smith)

When Kim Gillin and Linda Vernillo were planning to open Island Farmhouse, they wanted it to feel like stepping into an extension of their homes.

The longtime friends officially opened their home decor store located at the Shoppes at East Wind on Feb. 5.

“We both love home decor and furniture,” Gillin said, specifically the farmhouse aesthetic. “We always say one day we’re just gonna pack up and leave and go live on a farm and have cows,” she said laughing.

The bright, airy space was the perfect backdrop to showcase one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, clothing, home decor, blankets, candles, plants, accessories and seasonal items mostly sourced from local artisans.

“We wanted it to feel like when you come in, you can envision these pieces set up in your home,” Gillin said. 

The women, who met while working at a Mastic salon, initially started their business selling screen printed apparel at local craft fairs and on Instagram. 

“We had a big setup,” Vernillo said. “It was a lot to haul back and forth all the time. So we figured we would give this a try.”

In addition to the wide selection of cute t-shirts and apparel, another one of Vernillo’s creative pursuits is on display in refinished furniture pieces she creates with her sister Diana.

The shop has an emphasis on locally-made items including handcrafted pieces by South Shore Woodworking, arrangements by My Succulent Shop, colorful tie-dye items from Under the Bleach, Comet brand bracelets, and furniture by Tommy’s Touch and Chalked by Court and Painted by Dede.

The pair connected with many of these businesses online or at vendor fair events. “It’s nice because since we’re all new businesses, we’re kind of growing together.”

Charlotte Coté, marketing director for East Wind Long Island, said she’s excited to welcome the entrepreneurs to the complex, which opened in 2016. “Island Farmhouse complements our vision, offering a distinct local shopping experience where guests can find one-of-kind specialty items not found in big box stores,” Ms. Coté said.

Ms. Gillin and Ms. Vernillo said they were drawn to the Shoppes due to its proximity to the North Fork. 

“We talked to a lot of the local store owners, who told us how happy they were to be here. So we just felt like it was right. This is where we wanted to be,” Gillin said.

Island Farmhouse is located at The Shoppes at East Wind (5768 NY-25A, Wading River) and you can also shop their website.