Walk down Main Street in Westhampton Beach, NY and you’re likely to run into locals who know Elyse Richman.
Elyse owns and operates not just one, but three shops there –Shock, a women’s clothing store, Baby Shock / Shock Kids and Shock Ice Cream. Her very loyal customer base -mothers and grandmothers who know her women’s store- shop Baby Shock / Shock Kids for their children’s needs or baby gifts, naturally. Elyse says, “When he was a baby, I used to keep my son Maxwell in a crib at my store window. Everyone on Main Street has watched him grow up.” Now that Maxwell is 11 years old, he’s outgrown the store. In the years to come, Elyse hopes to secure approval for a complete renovation and expansion of Baby Shock / Shock Kids and double its size.
I am very lucky to live and work and ‘shop at Shock’ in Westhampton Beach. My commute is less than three minutes. The people in the Hamptons are out here to get away from their worries and harried lives. The style of Baby Shock / Shock Kids reflects the casual, beachy lifestyle here. We really don’t carry any serious clothing.”
Baby Shock / Shock Kids is a 1,000-square-foot space. Attached to it is Shock Ice Cream. “We have the best ice cream store a kid of any age could imagine; it has over 60 flavors of ice cream, Italian ice and gelato along with Dippin’ Dots and soft serve. We do birthday parties there,” Elyse says. Baby Shock / Shock Kids is packed full of merchandise: layette to size 7 for boys and layette to size 14 for girls – collections from Baby Steps; ArtWalk Baby sweaters and blankets; Mish Mish, Lemon t-shirts, Signorelli, Charlie Rocket, Tickle Toes, Trumpette, Twigs and Twirls, Lily Pulitzer, Twirley Girl, Flowers By Zoe, So Nikki, E Land, Kids Republic, Angel Dear, Skivvy Doodles, Books to Bed and more. Zutano is a staple; the line is the first Elyse buys for the store back in March 2000, at her first ENK Children’s Club trade show in New York. “Most people visiting my store come in just to take a look around. I believe in offering my customers a variety to choose from,” she says.
Through the years, all three businesses have been voted to the “best” lists of Dan’s Papers -a cherished magazine covering life in the Hamptons since 1960- and Hamptons Magazine, a glossy go-to-30+-year publication. The Shock brand adds to the friendly personality of Westhampton Beach by supporting local charities and community events like the local soup kitchen fundraiser and Shock’s own annual coast drive, collecting hundreds of coats that are donated to the needy.
Business in the Hamptons can be a bit challenging. We are a year-round business in a resort community. Traffic slows down in the off season, but Baby Shock / Shock Kids stays open every day, all year.”