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INTERVIEW: Ryland Life Equipment Owner Ryland Hilbert On The Chic Sag Harbor Boutique And More

Lindsay Aitken

A limited edition collaboration between renowned fashion photographer & local artist Dean Isidro and Hank Cashmere is available exclusively at Ryland Life Equipment. (Courtesy Photo)

Founded by Ryland Hilbert, a multigenerational Hamptonite, Sag Harbor's lifestyle boutique, Ryland Life Equipment, brings practicality and comfort to Hamptons' men. With health guidelines in place, Ryland Life Equipment is welcoming shoppers with open arms (figuratively, of course). This store carries men's apparel, home décor, pet accessories, and apothecary. Shoppers find merchandise that is approachable, relaxed, effortlessly chic, and masculine. Stop by Ryland Life for some new kicks, a book, a dog leash, jeans, candles, cashmere, and essentially anything else you may need while living in the Hamptons!

We caught up with Hilbert to learn more about his store, charitable work, and his life in the Hamptons.

Your work with The Retreat, an organization that helps domestic abuse victims, is incredible. Do you have plans to partner with more local organizations to give back in the future?

RH: When I first started Ryland Life Equipment one of our founding principles was that I wanted to do our part in contributing to our local community. One way that we as a company achieve that is by supporting local and state organizations that are making a difference. During the quarantine period we learned that there was a significant increase in domestic and family violence, so we decided to support The Retreat by donating 50% of our profits over a special shopping weekend. It was so successful that we have developed a whole calendar of special partnerships to support local organizations.

Where did your inspiration behind the creation of this store come from? Was owning a retail store always a dream of yours?

RH: The common belief is that brick and mortar retail is dead. I just wouldn't accept that because I had seen too many retail businesses thrive in the Hamptons. I have a good, solid background managing many of those thriving businesses so already knew the ingredients for success: a curated, unique assortment of amazing brands, an inspirational and creative retail experience, and the desire to be an active part in making the community better. We also rejected the myth that "men don't shop" and we saw a need in the Sag Harbor community for a place for men that was as inspirational as some of the great retail concepts that have been created for women in The Hamptons.

What qualities do the brands and merchandise you carry in your store need to have?

RH: One of our primary pillars is that they need to have a compelling back-story and heritage. They also need to be the highest quality of craftsmanship and we try, as much as possible to carry brands that aren't necessarily found elsewhere in The Hamptons. And finally, as a total collection, the brands need to be available at a range of price points from hostess gifts under $50 to luxury splurge items.

Did quarantine and shifting towards living a slower-paced lifestyle influence any of the merchandise in your store this summer?

RH: We definitely saw a shift toward home accessories; things to make being holed up inside a little more tolerable, comfortable and fun. Additionally, RylandLife.com significantly picked up in traffic, with orders coming in not only from our amazing Hamptons clients, but from new international clients particularly from Australia, Dubai, and Europe.

What are a few pieces of merchandise in your store you can't live without right now?

RH: Hank Perfect Cashmere Latham Zip Hoodies are our hands down favorite and in August we are launching and exclusive collaboration, Hank x Camp Isidro which will be one-of-a-kind indigo hand tie-died cashmere. Each piece will be numbered and exclusive to Ryland Life Equipment. I also love the collection of hand-thrown vases from Tracie Hervey, the delicious-smelling Voyage et Cie "Hamptons" scented candle, the limited edition Baccarat Be@rbrick crystal bear and the chic Riviera Polo from Sunspel.

What are your favorite spots in the Hamptons?

RH: I love a mid-week casual meal at our next-door neighbor, Ill Cappuccino (the Tortelloni al Pistacchio is to die for), Sunday Brunch at The American Hotel, Friday nights at Almond, Saturday night on the deck of Beacon (the Halibut baked in parchment is a must), hiking with our dogs at Cedar Point, hosting 'Pizza Pool Parties' from World Pie at our house in Bridgehampton, stopping by Sylvester's across the road from us for an iced " Dreamy" coffee, day-dreaming of one day being able to furnish our entire home from the exquisite collection at Monc XIII; and watching the spectacular sunsets, sipping a Oiu Cooler on the deck at our neighbors, Le Bibloquet.

What does your ideal day in the Hamptons look like?

RH: Life is so hectic throughout the week so my ideal days are usually on the weekends and are deliberately very low key! The day would probably start with an early morning walk on Ocean Beach, followed by a quick run on the Long Pond Greenbelt. Then we pack the dogs in the car to head over to our friend Sophie's house in Baypoint to grill and sit by her pool (with perhaps a Tanqueray & Tonic or two), then home to host a casual dinner with friends by our pool!

Ryland Life Equipment is located at 26 Madison Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit RylandLife.com.

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