MaryAnn Tozzi of New Paltz and Ana Lynn of Gardiner have joined forces to reopen what was formerly Kon-Tiki Trading Co. and is now KonTiki Trading Post of New Paltz.
The closing of the eclectic boutique back in June saddened many New Paltz residents. “It was a big part of the town,” Tozzi said.
The pair were not prepared to sit back and watch a cornerstone of the village disappear. A Facebook post made by Tozzi was the catalyst of the store’s reopening at its home, 70 Main St.
“I was like, ‘I wish I could save the store.’ [Lynn] sent me a note- and said ‘let’s save the store,’” Tozzi claimed. Quickly, Lynn chimes in saying, “Well I said ‘let’s talk about it,’” Lynn said shortly after Tozzi’s comment. They did talk about it, and several months later, the doors at 70 Main St. are wide open again.
With no prior shop-owning experience, Tozzi and Lynn knew they would face some challenges in the process of KonTiki’s reopening.
“Just go down the list of emotions, alphabetically,” Tozzi quipped. “One moment it’s ‘this is great we can do it!’ Next it’s ‘oh my gosh, what did we do?’ then it’s ‘we’re going to do great!’” Rest assured, the store is projected to be successful.
“MaryAnn is perfect for the store because while she’s never owned a store, she has a ton of retail experience . . . and a bubbly personality,” Lynn said.
Lynn is self-employed and has been for a long time. That being said, Lynn and Tozzi are the perfect team.
It was not all smooth sailing for these new business owners. “There was a little bit of a road bump,” Lynn testified. “By the time we finished doing our research and footwork, the landlord had already rented the space to someone else.” This could have been the end for KonTiki. But Lynn and Tozzi wanted to keep the store open at its home. Lynn recalled, “We said, ‘well, we could look for a space somewhere else but it was really about this store. If its not here then we’re not going to do this.’”
Luckily for them, the person who rented the space backed out, allowing them to move forward with their plans.
The new-age boutique is very similar to the original store, but there are some new aspects.
“We’re keeping all the local art, but also we’re trying to green it up, [like] doing bring your own bottle, doing laundry detergent refills and stuff like that,” Lynn said. “We’re really just trying to get a feel for what people want here. So yeah, green and local.”
The heart and soul of the store lie in the owners’ visions for KonTiki.
“It’s really about the community effort,” Lynn said. As for Tozzi, she wants “the weirdness back. That’s my goal for the store. I want kids hanging out on my stoop. I want them playing guitar . . . that’s what I want.”
KonTiki Trading Post of New Paltz is now open at 70 Main St. From local art to Baja hoodies made out of recycled tee-shirts, to 3D tapestries, you will surely find what you need at KonTiki Trading Post.