By Judy Garrison
You may have noticed the large sign at the foot of the wide stairs way on the left of the Tin Horn building, announcing Open Studio…..Shop. That is Bill Hovard’s invitation to visit his charmingly designed shop adjoining the shipping and office headquarters for his wholesale company, Hudson Made. (Nini of Tay Tea and Misha of Clementine, among others, started out in Andes right here.) Originally focused on men, he now describes the company’s merchandise as natural body care products for everyone. His on-line shop, which an earlier article from his website describes as a “carefully curated selection of American-made, small batch products” as well as their own “signature products such as bath and shave soaps, wooden items, utility aprons and linen dish towels…locally sourced and produced,” has customers from all over the world. The good news is that we can visit his seasonal shop right here in Andes, Thursdays through Sundays, or anytime the door is open. Bill enjoys connecting with the public and visitors will appreciate how the senses of sight and smell are teased and rewarded by the ambiance of the shop.
Seventeen years ago Bill purchased a converted barn near South Kortright, which, along with the gardens, he further enhanced. He had a graphic design practice in New York, collaborating with companies on branding and packaging, work he still consults on. About 8 years ago he developed a yen to challenge himself in new ways. He was inspired by the flora and fauna of the region and wanted to create American made products based on plants he found growing, and would embark on growing in more abundance, on his own property: calendula, chamomile, yarrow, as well as some that were foraged. After a while he decided to partner with local farmers, who now grow for him.
Whether you come to see the shop out of curiosity (Bill is happy to describe the components of the products and how they are made) or to purchase, know that the climb up those wide stairs is definitely worth it!~