In Maine, high-end design meets the great outdoors. By Pamela Liou
When homeward-bound couple Jessica Jenkins and Andy West set up shop in their native Kennebunkport, Maine, they aimed to provide goods for those who share in their wanderlust. Jenkins and West were executives at Island Def Jam Records—Jessica a high-profile music video producer and Andy a skilled graphic designer—but the strum and drang of New York City took its toll. Driven by a desire to be closer to nature and have a more independent business, they quit their jobs and sought refuge in the seaside community of their youth. "In Maine, there's a rhythm to the hustle and bustle of the summer, the foliage peeping in fall, and the long cold winters," Jenkins says.
What they brought back from New York City was an appetite for high-concept design. Their new boutique Daytrip Society, located in the heart of Dock Square, mixes up an urban sensibility with their shared love of nature and travel. The crisp white space is warmed up by wooden beams while large windows flood the space with sunlight. The railings leading into the back of the store line up exactly with a trompe l'oeil footbridge in a floor-to-ceiling photograph of the nearby Rachel Carson nature preserve, giving the illusion of standing in the middle of the woods. "We wanted a clean design that would allow items, even if it was just a bird's nest, to stand out as museum pieces," Jenkins says. While they carry some design giants like Normann Copenhagen, West and Jenkins embrace independent designers from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Maine. Some favorites include Emily Sugihara's Baggu, a line of re-useable grocery bags that fold to pocketsize, and the Maine-based Insect Lab's antique gear-fitted beetles and cicadas that would not seem out of place in a Phillip K. Dick sci-fi.
Daytrip Society not only marks a return to nature for Jenkins—it's a return to family. Her parents Diane and David Jenkins own a pottery shop in the same town. In keeping with their sense of community, Daytrip Society supports eco-conscious locality by collaborating with local Conservation Trusts, donating a portion of proceeds to conservation, and providing a platform for discussion about nature walks and yes, day trips.
In Maine, high-end design meets the great outdoors.