In this post, Fig Linens and Home interviews Westport tastemaker Samantha Yanks, Co-Founder of The Connecticut Edit. We discuss the importance of shopping at small businesses, the joys of Westport, and dive into Samantha's must-haves from Fig Linens and Home.
Photographed by Ashley Armstrong Skatoff
The Connecticut Edit Headquarters at Samantha's beautiful home in Westport, CT
Shopping small business is about building a vibrant community, investing locally, minimizing environmental impact, and supporting our neighbors.
As part of our celebration of Local Small Businesses, the Fig Linens and Home Blog is launching a “Love Westport” series in which we spotlight local businesses, designers, and tastemakers. For the first of our interviews in the "Love Westport" series, the Fig Linens and Home team spoke with Samantha Yanks of The Connecticut Edit.
Samantha Yanks is the Founder of Samantha Yanks Creative, a digital agency focused on content, branding, and marketing. She is also an editor, tastemaker, and Westport local. Samantha is the Co-Founder, along with her daughter Sadie, of The Connecticut Edit. Samantha is a former Vogue and Oprah editor and longtime Editor in Chief of Hamptons and Gotham Magazines.
Through her career as a lifestyle guru, she developed a love of fashion, home décor, art, beauty, interior design, and the culinary world.
Samantha’s latest not-to-miss launch The Connecticut Edit (TCE) showcases the best of Connecticut style, design, and culture with a focus on Fairfield and Litchfield counties. Samantha loves shopping locally, and her content emphasizes small and woman-owned businesses.
In this edition of our "Love Westport" series, Samantha joins us to discuss starting TCE, her love of Westport, and the importance of shopping at small businesses. We finish off with The Connecticut Edit-approved Fig Linens and Home Wish List.
"Everything at The Connecticut Edit ties back to the community; how do we build it and how do we do our part to help support it."
Samantha Yanks | The Connecticut Edit
Our Coversation with Westport Tastemaker Samantha Yanks
Can you tell as a bit about The Connecticut Edit?
The Connecticut Edit is a mobile-first highly curated digital dispatch of content through the lens of our life in Connecticut, which I Co-Founded with our fifteen-year-old daughter Sadie.
We keep you current on all things chic in CT and have hand-picked content that resonates with our audience. We give readers a first-hand look at everything from the latest restaurant openings and seasonal menus to must-attend events, previews of new shops, and access to the most influential talent and tastemakers.
Our Meet The Founder and Behind the Boutique series and our giveaways have become highly covetable stories because they are fresh ways to glean insight into and support the community. From Q+A's to our exclusive TCE Tours we take the reader behind the scenes and give them access to the who's who and what's what of Fairfield and Litchfield Counties.
Why is shopping small, local businesses important to you?
For us, everything at The Connecticut Edit ties back to the community; how do we build it and how do we do our part to help support it. My many years first as an editor and then as an Editor In Chief informed the lens that I look at content through. Shopping locally is about celebrating the community you live in.
We are here to provide a vehicle with The Connecticut Edit to showcase and shine a spotlight on the businesses that we love: those that understand that a warm and welcoming environment is equally as important as the merchandise and the way it is displayed. Local retail truly is the lifeblood of any community from farm stands to flower shops and fashion boutiques and we celebrate every aspect of it.
What do you love about Westport?
Westport is a town filled with fabulous and inspiring people, many long-term residents, and a substantial number of families who have relocated recently, all of whom are driven to explore and discover. There are so many new restaurants and shops opening, established boutiques and studios that have a fresh set of eyes looking at them and stepping up with cool experiences and content, and a coastal community filled with amazing energy and an artistic pedigree that rivals any major city.
Westport immediately became home when we moved here, the warmth of this community is unrivaled. From my husband and I taking our dog Wonton to the beach, to discovering my two essential spots for coffee, GG & Joe and The Granola Bar, to figuring out where my canteens would be which turned out are Casa Me, NÔMADE, OKO, Tarantino, Allium, The Whelk, Kawa Ni and The Cottage and the incredible athletic community that supports our daughter Sadie, and her passion for tennis, we simply love it here!
The Connecticut Edit Headquarters
What are your tips for shopping small in the Westport Community?
First and foremost, shopping locally is about supporting your own community, and who does not want to do that?
My advice is to get to know the shop owners and the teams that support them and therefore support you, every day. If you're shopping for clothing, accessories, or jewelry, let them help style you, the one-on-one personal connection is something owners traditionally pride themselves on and that attention is an added bonus for you.
I also recommend exploring new shops that you traditionally don't go into. If you're looking for yourself, or for gifts for others, it's always divine to see how everyone decorates for the season and uncover ideas you likely didn't even know were there.
I am also partial to making a day of it. Don't only think of shopping small in terms of the boutiques, galleries, and home décor shops you pop into, also try a new restaurant or café and make a day of immersing yourself in town.
You have an eye for interior design, how would you describe your style?
Our home is very reflective of my overall everyday personal style. There is little separation between the way I decorate and what I wear. I love a basic canvas to build off of and tend to return to the same color palette of neutrals, blues, and greys which are all part of my decorating DNA.
I gravitate toward subtle shades and soft hues and make the boldest choices with textiles, tabletop, bedding, and artwork.
What are some items on your Fig Linens and Home wishlist?
Casual Couture Border Dinner Napkins from Matouk in Sky Blue
Cairo Terry Robe by Matouk
Dominique Tissue Box Cover by Matouk Schumacher
Mandan Throw by John Robshaw
Aurora Decorative Box by World's Away
This article is part of the Fig Linens and Home "Love Westport" Series in which we explore local businesses, influencers, and cultural phenomena in our community.
Sophie is the head content writer at Fig Linens and Home. She is a bedding, linens, and luxury homeware expert with an interest is the intersection of interior design with fashion, travel and culture. She has a BA in creative writing and sociology from Sarah Lawrence and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography.
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