Holiday Shopping 2023: The Adirondack Store


Stephen Shin, co-owner of The Adirondack Store at 39 Elm St. in New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

For this installment of our local holiday shopping series, we talked to Stephen Shin, who owns The Adirondack Store at 39 Elm St. with husband Christopher English.

Here’s our conversation.

New Canaanite: Tell me a little bit about the store. Describe it generally for our readers.

Thymes Frasier Fir 6.4-ounce candle ($38) at The Adirondack Store, 39 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

Stephen Shin: We opened in 2020, which was crazy. We were slated to open March of 2020, which would have been ironic, but we ended up opening, basically September 1st of 2020. It’s been wonderful. The Adirondacks Store has a long history here. We were here 15 years and left in 2009. The previous owners were around the corner where the music store is now. We purchased the store about nine years ago.There was a flagship store in Lake Placid. It’s been there since 1955. A

How do you describe the offerings that generally to people?

Array of felt ornaments, many dog-oriented ($14) at The Adirondack Store, 39 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

It’s a rustic lake and lodge kind of store. We call it ‘luxury lake and lodge.’ We carry anything for the sort of cabin lodge kind of tech home, but we also carry high-end gift items like a Cire Trudon candle, which is the very first candle company in the world. They started in 1642, first candle company ever, they made candles for royalty, the church. It’s a high quality, very refined candle with a scent that’ll last forever. Anyway, we carry that in amongst the mix. So, anything sort of rustic, we love it.

Cire Trudon Abd El Kader candle, the oldest candle company in the world ($125) at The Adirondack Store, 39 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

How has it been going in your early days of the holiday shopping season?

It’s been wonderful. Especially on the weekends, it’s been really brisk. A lot of people are coming out trying to shop early. They came out before Black Friday, they came out for Black Friday, which was great. We see people are shopping early, which is a good thing. They want to make sure they get what they want, without a problem.

What are some of your most popular items? 

Sheepskins from Australia, double length ($340) and single ($131). Available in an array of colors at The Adirondack Store, 39 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

Thymes Frasier Fur is always, always popular. It’s a candle company and a scent company. We dedicate a whole huge wall on the left when you walk in—different iterations, all the same scent. It’s the one thing that everybody comes in, they want to purchase it every year. It smells like a Christmas tree, it makes the house smell really festive. So we go deep on that. Mugs. We have a lot of ornaments right now. A lot of people do ornament exchanges, or they want something small for the stocking. So we have tons and tons, especially felt ornaments for children, because they don’t hurt their hands when they grab them on the tree. We have these incredible sheepskins from Australia. They’re amazing. We have a single length and we have a double length. People love to put them on their chairs, love to put them on the floor, love to put them on their beds. That’s a really, really popular one. 

What kinds of special sales do you do for the holidays? 

Champagne bowl, stainless steel with pewter elk head mounts on the side ($952), could be used as a centerpiece or for floral arrangements, at The Adirondack Store, 39 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

One of our scents called ‘Simmering Cider’ that right now is 25% off. We have some wonderful melamine for outdoor entertaining. A lot of people go out to the fire pit. Melamine is a plastic dishware that’s very hard, very durable. It was really popular in the mid century, like 1950’s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

What’s it like for you to be part of the New Canaan business community? New Canaan does try to put a focus on its local merchants. New Canaan does the Holiday Stroll. I know you are a member of the Chamber. 

Not just this time, but all year long. Residents really support the local brick and mortar, which is really important to a town. They come out, they say, ‘I’m shopping local.’ Lots of people say that. So we’re really appreciative of people shopping local, and they make it a point to do it. They come in daily, if not several times a week, for coffee, for shopping, for all their needs. [Shin added later that the store features the Tall Pine Bar, where Sey Coffee from Brooklynis served.] They’re in town a lot, which is really different than a lot of other towns, maybe. They support the local establishments. The Chamber is really vibrant. We have three locations, and I can see the three different towns, and I can tell that New Canaan is special. It really, focuses, as you say, on the retail—any business, actually. Not just retail, but any business in town, whether it be real estate, anything like that. I find that the events that they do in the fall, including the Halloween block party, the Holiday Stroll, it’s really special. They make it a point to block off the street, they put a stage up, people come—it’s what makes the town. That’s why people come here.

One thought on “Holiday Shopping 2023: The Adirondack Store

  1. Thank for all that you do for the community. The store is so inviting and always looks lovely. You are a real gem in town!

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