Husband and wife Ann and Sid Mashburn operate a network of specialty stores: four sets of connected men’s and women’s shops in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Washington, D.C., and a stand-alone men’s unit in Los Angeles. When the retailer occupying the store in between Sid and Ann’s Atlanta flagships moved out, the couple pounced, leasing the 1,600-square-foot space in the Westside Provisions District.
The expansion serves as an extension of the flagship and a blank canvas for the Mashburns’ experimentation. “It was a smart thing for us to do the expansion,” said Ann Mashburn, whose closet is the model for her namesake stores. “It makes Atlanta the flagship stronger. We started with bricks-and-mortar, but a big healthy part of the business is online now. I can make a beautiful store. Our stores are really, really pretty. Special is really hard now. People have seen everything. Special is harder for everybody.”
The Internet is the reason people are seeing everything, Mashburn said, adding that she and Sid took the new space in the opposite direction. It’s a low-tech, slow space that invites shoppers to linger. A 250-square-foot coffee shop serving King State and Methodical Coffee, and H&F Bread Co. pastries is part of the new space. It’s the Mashburns first foray into food.
“We hired a super barista from a coffee shop in town,” Mashburn said. “We know how to make a cool space. We don’t know how to pour an espresso. We know how to drink one.” Café tables underneath a 65-foot awning over the façade will invite customers to have a cuppa when the warm wear comes.
The store’s clean white interior is bathed in natural light streaming in through skylights. There’s white oak hardwood fixtures, vintage Turkish kilim rugs, a vintage abstract mobile and art by Atlanta-based Stephanie Henderson.
Mashburn-designed products are sold alongside brands such as Diptyque candles and fragrances, Persol and Ray-Ban sunglasses, Swiss Army Knives, Caran D’Ache pencils and pens, and Moleskine notebooks. There’s also records and audio, home and office products, stationery, books, beauty, jewelry and accessories chosen by the Mashburns.
Flanking the expansion are the Mashburn men’s and women’s stores. The former offers dress and casual clothing such as a Kincaid No. 2 patch pocket suit, $995; plaid sport shirt, $150, and suede penny loafers, $295. The latter’s collection features classics with flourishes, such as an Italian cotton shirtdress trimmed with eyelet lace, $495, and a French tweed dress with fringe, $595.
“Sid loves records and record players,” Mashburn said. “We kind of went analog in the store. There’s a lot of books, which we love. Books are such a great thing to share with somebody. The first gift I gave Sid was a book. It says something about you. We’re also selling Kusmi tea and cheap super-cute tea pots. They’re a gift you give yourself.”
Kid Mashburn, the couple’s new children’s wear collection in sizes 2Y to 8Y, is also housed in the space. Hallmarks of the Mashburns’ adult offerings, high-quality fabrics and attention to detail, are evident in the smaller sizes. Styles for girls include Liberty-print dresses, skirts, button-down shirts and bloomers, and chambray and cotton Oxford shirts, and cotton and cashmere sweaters for boys. The collection is priced from $25 for a T-shirt to $175 for cashmere sweater.
“People are hard,” Mashburn said of sales associates. “We try to elevate the position. The people we hire love clothes, love selling and love the atmosphere we create. I think people from the hospitality industry are great. Our shop is a hospitality place. Sid has always been enamored with the way [restaurateur] Danny Meyer sets a table. We’ve done a really good job of tailoring shopping with a ping-pong table and sharing a coke, always giving clients something. Such hospitality is OK in the South.
“We’re excited to have more space to spread out,” Mashburn added. “This allows everything to breathe a bit and offer more of what we love, whether it’s things we find, things we make or just things we want to share.”