Berte: A Curated Home and Lifestyle Boutique | Shopping | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Berte: A Curated Home and Lifestyle Boutique 

Scandifornian Design Finds a Home on Beacon's Main Street

Last Updated: 08/16/2021 5:14 pm
click to enlarge JENNIFER YOUNG STUDIO

The term “Scandifornian,” while perhaps a clumsy portmanteau, describes an elegant design concept that fuses clean edges and airy spaces of MCM style, which originated on the West Coast, with the blonde wood tones and minimalist styling of Scandinavian design. It’s earthy yet fresh, clean yet warm. That’s exactly what you’ll find at the new Beacon boutique Berte, a curated home and lifestyle shop focused on handcrafted goods from small businesses.


Founder Aimée deSimone, who opened Berte in October, hopes that the brick-and-mortar will “be a source for great design and your new favorite thing.” The shop represents the fusion of deSimone’s passion for handmade goods and modern design, her commitment to sustainability and diverse representation, and her rejection of the corporate world she once inhabited. Berte’s inventory is sourced from nearly 80 different artisanal brands and makers, including SIN, Anchal Project, House No. 23, GoldeGolde, Studio Arhoj, Blackbird, Tellefsen Atelier, YAM, Apres Ski, and Debbie Bean.


click to enlarge Mural by Daniela Araya - JENNIFER YOUNG STUDIO

For a decade, deSimone worked as a TV producer, frequently traveling and constantly stressed, and decided that she had been through one too many sleepless nights to continue. “I wanted my brain back,” she says. “I wanted my time back. I wanted to feel like the moments I was rushing through were mine again. So I looked inward and realized that filling my home and my life with beautiful, carefully made things slowed me down and helped me appreciate my little world. From there, Berte just continued to evolve and take shape.”


Berte’s inventory aims to evoke both enjoyment and calm for customers, who will find themselves among a carefully curated collection of home decor, accessories, wellness products, and paper goods. “There’s a cornucopia of color,” deSimone says, but it’s measured rather than busy.

click to enlarge RICK HOLBROOK
  • Rick Holbrook

One of the walls features a mural painted by one of Berte’s customers, Daniela Araya, of soft pinks, yellows, and creams. There are various ceramic pieces––coasters, planters, vases, candlesticks, mugs––artworks on paper, and colorful stained glass. Kilim rugs and throw pillows give the shop a cozy, textured feel. Berte’s wearables include scarves, sunglasses, totes and purses, and small jewelry pieces like fine rings and chunky hoop earrings. The wellness selection ranges from body care products, like lotions and soaps, to items for the home, like candles and incense.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY RICK HOLBROOK
  • Photo by Rick Holbrook

deSimone chooses her products based on multiple criteria: the brand must be small and lesser-known; handmade and sustainably created; and it must fit with Berte’s visual aesthetic. “I’m almost unsatisfied if it doesn’t take me days to find a new brand,” deSimone chuckles. “I try to turn every rock over to find someone new and exciting.”

Sourcing from all over the United States and sometimes overseas, Berte is offering a platform to a rotating docket of artisans from all over the world, 86 percent of whom are women. Just under a third of Berte’s brands are made by people of color, and 13 percent of the businesses represented are Black-owned, though deSimone does not choose brands solely based on diversity. “I don’t ever choose brands based on who the person is,” she clarifies. “It would be a discredit to the work.” Berte also supports Citizen Action NY, She Should Run, and GLSEN in an attempt to foster a more equitable world. “I’m trying to represent the world that I want to live in,” deSimone says.


Though Berte’s strictly handmade policy drives up the price point, deSimone is committed to having something for everyone. There are hair clips, journals, and art pieces for around $15, while finer items, like a handblown glass vase, cost in the $100-$200 range. The higher price point is often a necessary evil to stock environmentally sustainable goods. “By focusing on makers who make things by hand, you’re cutting out factories,” deSimone explains.

click to enlarge JENNIFER YOUNG STUDIO

deSimone and her husband moved to Beacon from New York City in 2019 after visiting for years on the weekends to hike. She was especially drawn to the mile-long Main Street for its seemingly ever-changing offerings, and after deciding to leave her previous job, crafted a business plan in 2018 for a storefront. The brand first launched online in July 2018 and in 2019, deSimone took it to pop-up markets like Phoenicia Flea. But the debut of Berte’s brick-and-mortar is the culmination of a dream.


deSimone hopes her shop becomes a community fixture and is planning on hosting workshops, pop-ups, and events. She’s found a sense of belonging in Beacon that she didn’t find in the production industry. “I’ve been welcomed with open arms,” she says of both the Beacon community and her network of makers. “It’s about all of us on this journey of making things. We’re trying new things, seeing what sticks, and supporting each other.”

click to enlarge Floral Display by Flora Good Times - JENNIFER YOUNG STUDIO

Berte is open Monday 11am-6pm, Thursday through Saturday 11am-6pm, and Sunday 12-5pm.


Berte

500 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508

shopberte.com

heyhey@shopberte.com



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