Out East with Kaufmann Mercantile
An arsenal of well-made things is a description best suited for a company such as Kaufmann Mercantile. The Brooklyn based online store has created a single source for everyday and lifestyle products that are simply better. Their search for products, designers, old companies, new companies, foreign, domestic, has taken out the leg work in finding good things.
When Kaufmann initially launched, they offered only a handful of products for sale, mainly items founder Sebastian Kaufmann was either inspired by or appreciated the design. Today, the product list has grown to over 750 objects that not only look great, but serve a very useful purpose. And although there is more to offer, the same level of careful consideration still exists when deciding what makes the cut, and what doesn’t. The selection criteria at KM is what helps them stand out from a typical online retailer selling a wide range of different things.
The vetting process isn’t one to be taken lightly at the KM offices. Four main criteria are considered with each product, whether scouted, pitched or suggested. One, is the product even worth looking at and are the aesthetics on-point? Two, does it serve a purpose and have function, or is just another widget that takes up space? Three, is the product designed well and capable of lasting a long time. And four, are the materials earth friendly and free of plastics (KM uses no plastics)? If all the boxes are checked, great. If not, it’s back to the drawing board which may mean asking the manufacturer to make a revision, which in some cases works, in others it doesn’t. Sticking to your guns and saying no isn’t always easy. And while these standards may not seem tough, only about 20% of all products reviewed make the cut.
Where is all this going? During this summer Kaufmann Mercantile has decided to open a temporary retail shop where you can check things out in real life. They invited us over to the new Amagansett outpost for a look at the space and to discuss all the great looking objects for sale. Located right between Montauk and East Hampton, the Amagansett store is parked in the middle of town on main street in a cluster of beautifully aged buildings. Inside you can find a streamlined selection of their typical online offering that ranges from clothing to housewares to outdoor goods. Although shopping online is easy, relatively painless and pretty fast, it’s always nice to get a feel for a new purchase. If you didn’t have an excuse to escape out east this summer, now you do.