Nearly every detail in Big Flower captures the essence of the Hamptons. The 1,000-square-foot clothing and accessories store features a white shell interior with a wooden floor, antique brass details and marble finishes. Classic photos of East Hampton’s landscapes also hang on a wall. One of those includes a family photo from founder Greg Ammon.
Ammon spent much time in East Hampton after he and his twin sister were adopted from the Ukraine in the early 90s. He instantly fell in love with the East End, especially with the sunflowers he saw. In turn, the first words he uttered in English were “big flower.”
“Our focus and aspiration will always be to make sure our customers have a really great experience when they walk through our doors—leaving happy and hopefully with a piece of the Hamptons,” said Ammon, who opened the store for a second season on Memorial Day Weekend with wife Stacy Ammon.
Season two comes with a bunch of additions. There’s now a variety of Italian linens for men and women exuding vacation vibes; polo shirts and cotton belts for the men’s collection; the Little Flower Collection for boys 4-12 years old and a custom jewelry line with hand beaded necklaces decked out with gemstones and natural stones. Another change: the store will now be open year round.
Ammon spoke about returning to East Hampton to open Big Flower at 23 Newtown Lane years after his father was murdered in the town, and what shoppers can expect.
How did it feel for you to return to your roots and open this store in East Hampton?
It felt partly redemptive and to be honest very vulnerable coming back to East Hampton to open Big Flower. Due to the public nature of my father’s passing in East Hampton it caused a dark cloud over our family legacy. I felt I had a responsibility to share something positive with the town that spoke to the values of what I believe East Hampton is all about and to me that is family. Growing up I spent most summers, holidays and weekends here with family. I have some of the best memories of my childhood here and I wanted to continue that warmth by building an environment within our stores that the community and town could stand behind and be proud of.
Your wife Stacy is also very much involved in the store. What’s it like working together?
I believe we both work really well together by supplementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. As a startup we both wear many different hats and work hard knowing every element of our business. Naturally in marriage and in business there are different perspectives when it comes to decision making, but we’ve found that regardless of whether the decision is right or wrong we get behind each other and will support it 1,000 percent. We’ve also set boundaries when it comes to work and for a startup that can be challenging as I admit I have a very tough time turning off…Our first year we planned a wedding, moved and started a business which was a bit hectic, but nothing good comes easy and we always figure it out.
What can shoppers expect from this second season of Big Flower?
Quite a bit! We’ve listened to our customers both in store and online, which we’re happy to hear is getting a really positive response. This year we’ve expanded our men’s swimwear as well as our summer linen collection for men, women and our newest addition for kids called “Little Flower” that is all handcrafted in Italy. Our fabrics have also taken a substantial upgrade as we’ve sourced a majority of our knits from Japan to expand our men’s t-shirts and introduce our polos, which we plan on incorporating into the women’s and kids soon…We’ve also added some new lifestyle products that include candles that leave you with a scent of the Hamptons as well as beautifully handcrafted custom walnut table tennis paddles that are made in America. Ultimately, everything we produce is so that our customers can leave with a piece of the Hamptons.
What are the summer essentials for both men and women that the store is selling?
Linen we believe will always be a summer and resort must have…There is nothing better during a hot summer day than wearing linen that breathes, that is actually soft and comfortable and that you feel great in. For men we have the option to buy our relaxed fit for the beach during the day as well as a slim fit option for dinner or an evening out. Our kid’s linen shirts also match the men’s, which we call our “father & son” collection.
Can you talk about the custom jewelry line?
Stacy has a background in jewelry and so it was something that we were excited to expand on from last year’s capsule collection. Every piece is hand beaded with natural stones and is one of a kind made in the US that speaks to the Hamptons lifestyle. One of my favorite elements of the jewelry is that most of the pieces are versatile and can be worn a variety of different ways.
What are your tips for perfect resort wear style?
Be comfortable. We subscribe to comfort and designing versatile products so that our customers can look great and feel comfortable at the same time while traveling light. A lot of people assume we design clothing that might be flashy or glamorous, but we take a very simplistic approach and focus on classic, timeless pieces, not what’s trending.