Visit Vortex: Meet the Owners


HAMILTON & ADAMS

Meet the Owners

BY ANNE PYBURN CRAIG

AUGUST 21, 2018

If you’re a man, or love someone who is, you need to get to know Hamilton & Adams in Uptown Kingston. A shop dedicated to the discerning and adventurous man, Hamilton & Adams features menswear that’s both sharp and rugged, grooming tools that feel as good in the hand as they do on skin, and unique, well-made gifts and accessories that aren’t easy to come across. To shop for such things online at random is to risk disappointment; some things need to be experienced in person. At Hamilton & Adams, where the mantra is “Stay Curious,” you’ll find a well-curated cornucopia of solid finery.

“While we offer categories of products that are available globally, we can guarantee you that you will find goods here that are not available by other retailers in the Hudson Valley, or online.”

The shop happened because the moment was just right. Clark Hamilton Chaine and Andrew Adam Addotta both knew they wanted their own business “someday.” Both were talented marketers.

Andrew had 20 years of retail experience with names like DKNY and Gap; Clark had over 20 years in marketing and brand-building on both coasts, working for heavy hitters like Charles Schwab and NBC Universal. The idea of establishing something to call their own was one they often tossed around. But what?

The answer, like the brand they’re building, evolved. On Small Business Saturday in 2016, they were wandering Kingston’s Stockade District and found “the spot,” and the rest flowed from there.

“We had always loved the historic Stockade District and thought it had amazing bones, but needed some meat on the bones,” recalls Clark. “Having chatted about wanting to start our own business for some time, we saw the vacant storefront and looked at each other and said, ‘let’s do it,’ and threw our hat over the wall.”

“We had discussed opening a business together and it being upstate,” Andrew confirms, “but we had never fleshed out a business plan or timeline. That said, we made a call about the spot, signed the lease, and then got to work on our plans. Sometimes you just have to go for it.”

They’d been growing the sort of mutual love affair that one does with Ulster County since before 2010, and built a house in Stone Ridge back in 2012. Both Andrew, born and raised near Buffalo, and Clark, a fifth generation Californian, have bicoastal and global sensibilities and love to travel; but Kingston, and the Stockade in particular, offered the ideal home base. “Kingston is undergoing a kind of renaissance, and with that comes an incredibly diverse consumer base,” says Clark. “We have our core local residents, the recent transplants who’ve moved up to the Hudson Valley, weekenders, and then all the visitors who are rediscovering Kingston and all the unique features it has to offer.”

Having already explored and been drawn in by the uniqueness of Kingston, the chance to establish something unique

"We’re thrilled be part of the Kingston community and want to share that excitement with our fans in fun and unique ways."

themselves was one they grabbed with both hands and continue to develop. “H&A is a new brand we started from scratch,” Clark says. “The only existing elements were our names and the rich, historic Stockade District. We wanted our brand to connect to Kingston’s historical DNA, but also relate to us, and our middle names provide the perfect combination of both.”

The merch is both rugged and lush: locally themed t-shirts and tanks from the “Upstate and Chill” collection, durable double-cloth gingham and twill, handsome hoodies and jackets.…

These are clothes to live in—practical and comfy and transcending trend. There’s a fine selection of carry bags and pouches, footwear, and belts to finish off the look. There are lotions and creams, soaps, and beard oils to make a regular guy feel exquisitely well-tended.

There are beautiful things for the home with a masculine feel, like a copper Moscow mule mug or a leather-covered flask. The implied lifestyle bespeaks comfort and freedom to be yourself, leaving the rest to you. In other words, Clark and Andrew are offering things they love. “We are casual, in terms of our lifestyle,” says Andrew. “We aren't overly fussy or complicated and we like to be curious about the world we live in. Before we launched Hamilton & Adams, we were always out exploring, covering the Hudson Valley and beyond.” Maybe that’s why the carry bags make one want to pair them with a train ticket leading to an international port; however, they’d work equally well around town.

The merch is both rugged and lush: locally themed t-shirts and tanks from the “Upstate and Chill” collection, durable double-cloth gingham and twill, handsome hoodies and jackets.…

Hamilton & Adams welcomes everyone with the same laid-back warmth. “The customer base is really broad,” says Andrew, who spends his week running the business. “While buying for the brand we try to make sure that there will be something for everyone who visits us. Everyone is welcome here, and we hope to keep meeting more people.” Women are always more than welcome to browse, whether they’re gift shopping for a loved one or shopping for themselves. The “Upstate and Chill” tees do come in women’s versions. “While we’re currently a men’s shop, we have every intention to evolve and grow our offering to additional products and services that align with our mantra ‘Stay Curious,’” says Clark.

Since their opening in spring 2017, it’s been a journey full of lessons and fun. “The first year we had to make a lot of calculated guesses and assumptions, but we learned a lot about our customers, the needs of the market, and how H&A can deliver real value to consumers both locally and across the country via our digital presence,” says Clark. “We started from zero and now have a real and steadily growing fan base. It’s fun when people stop us when we’re out and about and say ‘Hey, I follow your brand on Instagram, you guys are doing cool stuff!’”

These are clothes to live in—practical and comfy and transcending trend.

 

 

That they are, and the future is both bright and wide open. “What really inspires me is the blank slate aspect,” says Clark. “We have full creative control to build the brand into whatever we want. There is a ton of opportunity that we’re constantly working to unlock and share with the community. I love that opportunity to bring a vision and dream to life. Test and try ideas to see what works. Dream big and realize that we’re only limited by our own imagination.”

Which is, clearly, not a very narrow limit. You’re very much invited to share the journey. “Come visit us,” urges Andrew. “We always have something new and would love to help you be curious about the world!” And, as Clark suggests, you can get in on the fun from anywhere in the world— just follow @HamiltonandAdams on Instagram and Facebook. It’s quite clear that wherever these two decide to go, it will be fun and interesting—and sure to keep us curious.

“While we offer categories of products that are available globally, we can guarantee you that you will find goods here that are not available by other retailers in the Hudson Valley, or online,” says Andrew. “We work very hard to carry our own branded products that are unique, and other brands that are small and not as widely distributed.”

“While buying for the shop we try to make sure that there will be something for everyone who visits us. Everyone is welcome here, and we hope to keep meeting more people.”

 

“We don’t think of Hamilton & Adams as just a store,” adds Clark. “It’s a brand that delivers both products and service, and, most of all, we like to deliver our customers and fans with experiences, whether that be meet-maker events, pop-up experiences, or other unique and creative programs that help keep consumers excited and engaged. We’re thrilled be part of the Kingston community and want to share that excitement with our fans in fun and unique ways.”

You’re very much invited to come meet the guys in store any day or the week, or at Field + Supply down at the Hutton Brickyards on the Kingston Waterfront on Columbus Day Weekend, when Andrew says some new products will be launched—undoubtedly something unique, casually fabulous, and built to last.


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published