While robots, unicorns and superheroes may be all the rage when it comes to kids’ toys, for Vanessa Hamer those iconic childhood images, however whimsical, were not what she wanted splashed all over her child’s clothing. And so, out of the mind of the East Hampton resident, who had a career in public relations and retail, Ethel + Row was born in 2015.
Since then, Hamer has moved her business — and family — to Sag Harbor, where Ethel + Row can be found on Main Street, featuring clothing that is either organic or made out of 100 percent natural fibers like linen, cotton and denim. With a minimalist aesthetic, the store feels European; many of the mom-and-pop labels Hamer is drawn too hail from France and the Netherlands.
“I do a lot of basics — denims, pocket tees, jumpers, pinafore dresses,” said Hamer. “I look for clothing an adult would like to buy for themselves. Not every mom wants to dress their child in robots or unicorns or sparkles — they want them to be able to have a style that is their own.”
And for those looking for a pattern of whimsy — being in Sag Harbor she carries 100 percent Peruvian pima cotton rompers featuring ice cream cones and, of course, whales.