New Haven fashion designer opens MINIPNG on Audubon Street

NEW HAVEN – As an art lover since childhood, Eiress Hammond was thrilled to open a space for designers from around the world in the form of a fashion store.

“If you were to open my brain, this is what it looks like in there,” Hammond said of his recently opened boutique, MINIPNG on Audubon Street, known as the city’s arts district.

Hammond was a pre-law student in undergraduate school, but she always felt like something was missing in her life. This “something” was art.

About four years ago, Hammond began creating his own brand of sustainability and individuality, selling handmade clothing and fashionable items online and in pop-up stores in and out of Manhattan and of Brooklyn – and it took off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Hammond, a Middletown native, moved to New Haven last year, she wanted to bring what she learned from her time in New York to Connecticut where she grew up, which she said the State of Nutmeg was lacking.

“Usually when people say they’re inspired by New York and bringing it to different states, they’re talking more from a coffeehouse perspective,” Hammond said. “But I wanted to bring the fun, creative, inspiring part of New York that I learned.”

A new in-person shopping experience was also a goal Hammond aims to achieve with the new store in the age of online shopping, she said.

MINIPNG sells handmade clothes by Hammond and other designers around the world that rotate monthly, as well as home decor, a mix of fashion and vintage items, and things from the early 2000s that people can’t get it elsewhere for a decent price, she said.

“I wanted to bring a space that makes people happy to shop again,” Hammond said.

Located in the Arts District, MINIPNG also acts as a space for independent creators to showcase their work both locally and everywhere, as Hammond said from his experience in pop-up stores, it’s not easy. for them.

“Creators like me have this problem where they’re like, ‘Oh man, I really wish there was a space where I could consistently showcase my work to allow me to generate income that way,'” he said. said Hammond.

Hammond made calls on her instagram hoping to find new products from different designers.

However, opening a store was not without challenges. Hammond said she originally wanted to get a space in New York, but it was difficult to deal with real estate agents during the pandemic as prices dropped and they sought to fill the spaces as soon as they could.

“They didn’t really care about a vision or a business plan or anything, they cared more about whether or not you had $10,000, $20,000 to deposit at that time. “, she said.

But the New Haven space felt quite comfortable to her. She found it by chance during a walk with her boyfriend. She grew up in the city and now lives just 3 minutes walk from the store.

“I was really excited because I thought it would be a perfect place to open a store and it just kind of felt like perfect timing,” Hammond said.

MINIPNG is located at 77 Audubon St. and is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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