The summer has (sadly) come to a close, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Check out an exclusive interview with the creators of Poolside Collective, a move-able concept shop located at The Montauk Beach House all of summer 2015. One of my favorite spots in Montauk, it’s centrally located and tbh, the sickest concept shop in MTK. Been repping my Poolside shirt all summer! I caught up with Ashley Hults and Lee Ann Bulgin to learn a bit more about their shop and what’s in store for the future of Poolside Collective.
– What was your favorite day from the Summer 2015?
It’s so hard to pick just one – every day was different and fun in it’s own way. Something new was always going on Poolside and we met such great people who have become lasting friends.
– What do you ladies get in to in the off season?
Poolside Collective is opening two stores this winter – one at Maderas Village in Nicaragua and one at the Mondrian in Miami!
– What are some of the most challenging aspects you’ve found while running a seasonally based brick & mortar / moving business?
There is a LOT to coordinate. We are definitely streamlining our processes going forward. While this was a challenge, it was also a big learning experience and is leading us towards increased efficiency, which is great!
– Social media is a strong driver of business, especially e-commerce. Your collection on IG is impressive – how do you curate your Instagram photos? For example, what style do you go for in the photos? What’s the thought process there? Do you have planned pictures?
Thank you!! We take a lot of pride in our IG! We made sales through social media and were connected with people from around the world. To answer your questions:
Curation is led by emotion and feel, but we like to mix up product photos with poolside scenery, very specific re-grams that align with our brand, and select user generated content that we feel makes sense for us aesthetically. We also sometimes like to give people a view into who we are as the founders.
We worked with a dear friend, @_samhillman to create a lot of amazing content this year. You will see her tagged in many of our images.
We generally use A6 on the app VSCO to filter, but we love bright images and anything with a great blue color. We increase brightness, contrast and sharpness but decrease temperature. Images that are overly yellow/orange/brown don’t really align with our Poolside vibe.
You may see series before major initiatives. We have been thinking about gramming only red images in our exact pantone color after we close Montauk and before we open Nicaragua and Miami.
We just started using shared photo streams to manage all of our inspiration, product selects and imagery and it’s a game changer!! We love it!
– What are some of your personal favorite brands and do the products you feature at “Poolside Collective” reflect your personal style?
Ashleigh: Some of my personal favorites include Zimmerman, ACNE, Frame Denim and Isabel Marant. I recently discovered Elder Statesman and it has become an obsession – especially this one tye die men’s cashmere sweater. I love Thaddeus O’Neil’s new women’s line and Calle Del Mar, which we sell in the shop – both are sick luxury apres surf gear or “playwear.” We sell Cotton Citizen Tee Shirts, which are the best for fit and comfort! My personal style is a mix of high end luxury with ripped up jeans and vintage or plain white tee shirts. My uniform is a pair of ripped vintage denim shorts from LF, a cropped white John Patrick Organic t shirt from Otte in NYC, white leather Chanel slides, a dark blue vintage mechanics jacket with a “Montauk” patch on it from Share With and a red bandana from a dear friend’s creative collectives called “BEST” which I wrap around my wrist as a bracelet. I always have on 6 dainty gold necklaces of varying lengths and meaning.
Lee Ann: I’m a fan of A.L.C., J brand, Stone Cold Fox and DVF. I personally love classic styles in luxe fabrics and textures and mostly neutral colors, with the occasional pop and printed accessory. I’m most comfortable in a pair of skinny jeans or ripped denim shorts, the perfect fitting white tee, my new fav being Cotton Citizen from the shop and a worn in black leather jacket. We carry the best sunglasses so it’s always fun to complete a look with a great pair. My summer favorites were from Westaward Leaning and Le Paul Eyewear. Ashleigh and I have very different styles but appreciate the others’ so much that we often fall in love with pieces and brands we normally wouldn’t. It’s amazing to have a partner that encourages discovery and evolving style, because that’s something that is always changing!
– Do you have plans for next summer and how do you see the business growing in years to come?
We are so excited for next summer. This past year, we put the store together in 2 months. With a year to plan, the sky is the limit!!! We will definitely launch an online shop as well. Stay tuned 😉
– You’ve had many successful collaborations – what types of companies and businesses are you excited to collaborate with in the future?
Our goal is to always offer people things they have never seen before and can’t find anywhere else. We want to continuously put the “poolside” lifestyle out there. We will be launching a selection of private label “poolside” gear and will collaborate on signature items that represent us. We love collaborating with creative talent; artists, writers, stylists, musicians, doers and thinkers. When great minds come together, amazing things are produced! We’re open to all possibilites, but know that certain products make sense for certain locations. A collaborative art t-shirt could be great in Miami during Art Basel, but might not make as much sense for Nicaragua.
– The collection is beautifully curated with interesting pieces from local and worldwide vendors. Where do you draw inspiration while selecting pieces that you’ll show?
We get this question a lot and we never know how to answer it. Finding cool brands that we love and want to tell people about is second nature to us. It is just who we are and so the store is basically our platform to bring our personal styles and passions to life!
The back of my favorite shirt ❤ and #poolside at a different location. Be sure to follow Poolside Collective on Instagram so you can become as obsessed with them as I am!