Long Island's East End is filled with hidden gems, but none of them quite as stylish and chic as the Southampton homeware and lifestyle boutique run by local sister duo Tanya and Temidra Willock. Tucked in a courtyard just off Jobs Lane sits their gorgeous shop, Hidden Gem, filled to the brim with colorful, eclectic works by talented artisans from both the community and the world at large.
Honestly, we dare you to not to find something you desperately love here!
Inspired by memories of growing up and watching their Antiguan grandmother sell her crafts in their backyard, Tanya and Temidra have turned their passion for products rich with heritage into an experience for all to enjoy!
How did you two come about starting Hidden Gem?
Ever since we were young, we’ve wanted to go into business together. We’ve both always been super creative and had a passion for arts and crafts.
It became something of discussion when we graduated college... We had similar experiences with finding a community in which we felt we could showcase our work and noticed our friends had similar experiences as well.
That’s when the idea for Hidden Gem came about.
We wanted to have a space to highlight our own work as well as other artists and artisans.
What do you look for when hunting down new pieces to put in the shop?
Pieces that we both really love and have a connection with. It’s all about the vibe for us! If there’s texture, colors, patterns, or that “it factor,” we’re likely to carry it.
How would you each describe your personal style?
Temidra: I love lots of prints and color on top of more patterns and color, but it still has to be refined and clean. It’s definitely an organized mix of boho, coastal, and eclectic with an Antiguan vibe.
Tanya: My personal style is also pretty eclectic; I gravitate towards bold colors and loud prints; I love clashing patterns.
What’s one thing you can never keep in stock?
Our painted surfboard art! We make them ourselves, and they’ve become something we are known for as they’re unique, colorful, and one of a kind. We’ve started making commissioned pieces as well.
In your two years since opening, have you seen a change in Hamptons style and what people gravitate towards most?
Temidra: Our store is so different from what’s available in the Hamptons – anyone that comes into our shop admires our style and what we are presenting, and they enjoy the curation as it allows them to discover special pieces, or artisans we showcase. They love what we do and want to replicate it in their own home. I think the typical “Hamptons” style is still very much alive, but we are definitely shaking it up.
Tanya: The “Hamptons” style is still going strong, and we’re happy to keep adding something a little different and reinterpret it in our own way.
How would you describe Hampton's shoppers?
The Hamptons shopper is a mix between long-time locals and summer vacationers. They are normally looking for the latest trend; however, we have noticed lately that our customers are really interested in knowing the story behind our pieces and the process of making them. They really want to connect to the products they are buying and appreciate the passion that goes into our curation as well as into the products as they are being made. It’s fun because our shop isn’t the usual shop you will find in the Hamptons so people are always really excited when they fall upon our Hidden Gem.
What’s the best thing about being an East Hampton native?
Tanya: One of the best things about being an East Hampton native is knowing the lay of the land, and being in the know about all the best kept secrets.
Temidra: I love the art community.
What is your favorite East End hidden gems?
Temidra: Springs Farmers Market, The Blend on 3 Mile Harbor, and Montauk Pier.
Tanya: The multiple hidden walking trails and the Longhouse reserve.
Most overrated part of the Hamptons?
Temidra: Clubs, bars and celebrities.
Tanya: The “nightlife.”
What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day at the boutique?
Temidra: Back yard BBQ with good wine, friends, and family.
Tanya: A glass of wine by a backyard bonfire.
Dream location for opening another store?
Temidra: Sag Harbor and Santa Monica, CA. My dream is also to have a mobile Hidden Gem in a vintage airstream! That would be amazing.
Tanya: I would love a location in West Palm Beach. That would be a great place to showcase our vibe.
What's one thing everyone needs for a perfect Hamptons summer?
Temidra: A good beach towel and good company!
Tanya: A flexible game plan and the perfect spot on the beach.
What are you most excited for next?
This summer, we are excited to bring our artistic vision to curated beach dinners out East from Memorial to Labor Day. We are collaborating with Jenn Walker and Patrick Forbes (the team behind hello coco and owners of dumbdumb food truck) to create socially-distanced dining experiences right on the sand across from Breakers Montauk.
Each weekend will offer a different theme, décor and menu. You can already make reservations here and take a quiz to determine which dinner theme is best for your party. Based on that, we will curate a unique experience directly carved out in the sand!