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Jun 7, 2011 12:15 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Salty Home Opens Shop In Bridgehampton

Jun 7, 2011 5:09 PM

Some young girls keep diaries. Jessica de Kerillis kept a binder.

While growing up, Ms. de Kerillis, 30, said she would often find herself inspired by many things: pictures, quotes, stories, magazines, flyers—even napkins and leaves. They would all inevitably end up in her binder.

So when the time came for her to start her own business, Salty Home—a retail shop, nestled between the Victoria’s Secret and the Banana Republic in the Bridgehampton Commons shopping center, that features home furnishings, accessories and gifts—her thick binder came in handy.

“It was a huge evolution,” said Ms. de Kerillis, describing her career while seated on a sofa in the middle of her colorful store.

Ms. de Kerillis, 30, of Southampton, recently opened Salty Home, a store that she relocated from Port St. Lucie, Florida, where she used to live, to Bridgehampton in April. She began the business down south in 2005, and moved to the East End to be closer to her family. Her husband, Louis de Kerillis, 37, was born and raised in Southampton.

Salty Home is run by Ms. de Kerillis, her husband and Ms. de Kerillis’s sister, Tricia Soumoff. Ms. de Kerillis said she gets a lot of help from her family, who have been supportive of her career and business. “My family is a huge help, thank gosh,” she said.

When asked if she has any children, Ms. de Kerillis says she has just one: her store. “This is my child,” she said. “My baby.”

Her store offers an eclectic mix of objects and styles. She said she would describe her store as “cottage-y casual,” adding that there’s something for everyone—and at an affordable price. The 5,000-square-foot store features a variety of different items, including candles, lamps, sofas, ornaments, birdhouses, bedroom furniture, paintings, necklaces and bracelets, to name a few. “It’s just a huge mix, really,” she said.

Ms. de Kerillis, who was raised in Wisconsin, has spent her summers on the East End and other parts of Long Island. She explained that she was always interested in retail. She received a degree in merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 2003. Prior to that, she worked in boutiques in Southampton Village as a teenager, an experience that she said she loved. She said she worked at the Secret Closet, a clothing boutique that was once located on Jobs Lane. “I just had this huge passion for retail,” she said.

Originally, she attended Lesley University in Massachusetts in hopes of becoming a teacher. Retail was “just for fun,” she explained, but soon realized that it was what she wanted to do for a living. Her father, Bernie Soumoff of Southampton, said his daughter has been in retail ever since she left Lesley in 1999.

“I get amazed every time I come here,” Mr. Soumoff said. “She has customers in Florida that come in here. But she feels good being here. This is home for her.”

One of those customers, Denise Haines, a Sagaponack resident who lives in Florida for five months of the year, strolled into Salty Home last Friday to do some shopping. She explained that while she was happy to see Ms. de Kerillis open a store in Bridgehampton, Ms. Haines was also sad to see her close shop in Florida.

“I absolutely love her taste, and she always has different things,” Ms. Haines said.

The name of the store, Salty Home, was the product of a brainstorming session involving Ms. de Kerillis and her sister, Ms. Soumoff. Ms. de Kerillis said the two wanted to evoke a sense of the beach and salty ocean water, while also getting across the message of offering a flavorful place.

“That air that you smell?” Ms. de Kerillis said, describing the significance of her store’s name. “Once you cross over the canal, the air changes.”

Ms. de Kerillis said she hopes her customers walk away from her store with a feeling of peace and inspiration. “I want them to enjoy,” she said. “I went them to feel at peace and have a good time.”

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It is true - there is something for everyone in Salty Home - whether your taste is modern or traditional, whether you are looking for a housewarming gift or something to brighten your own living space.......THIS IS IT! Congratulations to my friend, the East End has missed you!
By srk (15), southampton on Jun 8, 11 6:16 PM