At first it doesn’t make sense. Urban skate shop Wampum taking up residence at the Chequit Inn as a summer pop-up store?
But when you speak to Wampum co-owner Marley Ficalora you get a sense of where he’s going with this.
“We started as a skate shop in Bridgehampton four years ago”, said Ficalora, who owns the shop with his brother, Lennon. “It was an opportunity to bring something that wasn’t really there previously. So we started as that and grew and developed our own line and now we’ve turned into an urban beachwear company. A little beachier, but still with some of the urban New York City kind of feel to it.”
Wampum stores can now be found in Bridgehampton, Montauk and Shelter Island.
Ficalora is using the pop-up as an opportunity to expand the Wampum name and he said the Chequit Inn is the perfect space.
“We thought it would be a good fit, there’s nothing really like it on Shelter Island. There’s only one or two clothing stores on the whole island, so with all the people passing by with the ferry traffic and the new hotel restaurant, we just thought it was an opportunity to get the brand some more exposure.”
So what is Wampum, in case you’re not familiar with the brand? Originally a skate shop, Wampum has evolved into an urban surf and skate apparel company. The line includes colorful T-shirts, hats, beach shoes, sunglasses and other accessories. Ficalora says their next target is the female market.
“It’s a huge opportunity, especially on Shelter Island, where there’s not much competition and it’s something we can offer,” he said.
Not bad for two brothers from Montauk who started their own clothing line four years ago. Ficalora says the name Wampum is a native American term for shells or shell beads, that some native tribes used as currency hundreds of years ago. Ficalora liked the word and said it has a strong meaning to Montaukers like him and his brother.
“We’re from Montauk and we started it in Bridgehampton,” he said. “He’s named after John Lennon and I’m named after Bob Marley, now you can tell we’re from Montauk.”
Wampum on Shelter Island is located on the property of the Chequit Inn at 23 Grand Avenue.
The Shelter Island store is open noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information please visit www.wampumny.com