This lifestyle boutique on wheels has gone brick and mortar.
The owners of Hitch LI, a 1965 Shasta camper used as a pop-up shop selling handmade artisanal products across Long Island, retired their trailer to open a storefront on Babylon’s Main Street.
Longtime friends Joe DeBello, 33, and Justina DiMaggio, 32, launched Hitch Handmade Market during the Babylon Block Party on Thursday, Aug. 14.
Hitch displays products from 65 vendors, all of whom are New York-based, with most of them coming from Long Island. The items in the 800-square-foot store range from clothing and unique accessories to home decor.
After launching the company in August 2016, the two saw the popularity in their passion project rise. In that short time, their social media following grew well into the thousands.
The people really appreciate the “support local vibe” of the company, said DeBello.
“We meet with [our vendors] one-on-one to see if the merchandise is up to par, as well as if they are passionate,” said the New York City fashion creative director.
After building momentum for three summers in the camper, Hitch started to look for a storefront last December.
“You can go to any South Shore town and get a Main Street vibe, but [Babylon Village] has that really close, tight-knit community feel,” said DeBello, a village resident, on why they chose Babylon.
To pay homage to the ride that got them this far, Hitch’s check-out counter was designed to look like the 1965 camper.
With the new venture, Hitch is taking working with local vendors one step further with its new location.
Before signing the lease, the owners strategically planned to collaborate with two other businesses that are slated to open in the same building they are operating from at the old “Daily” building at 37 East Main Street.
According to DeBello, the two-story building will be split up into three storefronts, including Hitch. The other two stores, which will have its own brands and identities, will be a clothing store and a kitchenware-homeware shop.
(DeBello didn’t want to spill the beans on the names of the stores coming, so make sure to check back at GreaterBabylon to learn more.)
“We all came together as a community,” said DeBello, who told GreaterBabylon both businesses are planning openings sometime later this year, or early 2020.
While the three stores will have their own entrances on Main Street, each location will also be accessible through the stores themselves.
There is also a 30×90 patio in the back that will have communal usage among the companies.
“We’re going to have fun events like bingo and a ‘Meet the Makers’ day,” said DeBello. “We’re really excited to all be working together.”
Scroll down to see photos of Hitch Handmade Market.
Top: Hitch Handmade Market owner Joe DeBello at his market’s counter.