Main Street Business

A Holiday Pop-up Shop in North Canaan – JACLYN RYAN OF HITHER LANE

By Published On: December 1st, 2023

Main Street discovered Hither Lane at a party in Lakeville, CT, not on Instagram or while searching for cocktail glasses on the Internet. This is the story of an international fashion professional who worked for luxury brands like Saint Laurent, only to leave New York City behind to start her own business in the country.

What is Hither Lane?

Hither Lane is a lifestyle e-commerce brand with ethically sourced and curated products for kitchen and dining, including glassware, bar ware, serving pieces, tools for cooks, and delicious specialty pantry items. We also release monthly recipes that are gourmet yet easy to prepare at home. You can search the site knowing that everything has been vetted for sustainability and consumer safety and browse in a number of ways – of course by product category, but also by the social impact most important to you (made in the US, woman made, eco-friendly, etc.) or even by the “vibe” of your own home. 

Our vibes include: Baroque Cottage, Coastal Calm, Jungled Pine, and Sunset Echo, each with their own distinct style. Hither Lane’s products are luxurious, not commodities that you can buy in any big-box store. However, in price point, we aim to stay in the accessible middle range, offering luxurious products that work for most budgets. 

Why did you select the name Hither Lane?

The name is aspirational for me and a little mysterious. I grew up as a part of the year-round, blue-collar community of East Hampton on Long Island. My family wasn’t of means, but often my mother and I would take walks on Hither Lane, one of the most opulent streets in the Hamptons. I would daydream about what could be found inside these beautiful homes. Once I grew up and started decorating my own home, I realized what a market gap there is between common but poorly made home wares and those that are unrealistically expensive for most people. Unfortunately there was an even bigger gap when it came to ethically produced home wares. Everyone can feel like they live on Hither Lane. It starts with the little touches that bring joy to the day-to-day. 

How did you launch an e-commerce site?

That was the most intimidating part for me as someone who isn’t super tech-savvy. My experience has been in luxury sales training, and I studied art history at Pratt. But one of my best friends from childhood had always encouraged me to start my own business. He’s a skilled programmer and taught himself to code, so together we were able to launch Hither Lane online. His help with the technical aspects allowed me to focus on the creative parts of the business and build a cohesive brand. I’ve even taught myself photography and now do all the product shots myself. 

Hither Lane is growing organically, and we attract clients mostly through Instagram, as well as partnering and collaborating with other small businesses. Our customers come back to the site again and again to buy. Our retention rate is extraordinary – our biggest point of pride: people love the products and are loyal to the brand.

Is there a product you’re really proud of?

I cook a lot and do a lot of recipe development, so I had an this idea for years to make a scented candle specifically designed to work with kitchen odors – one that would detoxify the air but smell natural and not perfume-y. Our kitchen candle is the first product we designed ourselves after investigating small candle makers all over the country. We’ve started with three scents: orange chili pepper, cinnamon bark, and tomato leaf. They work by complementing, not just covering up smells. We tested them on some of the worst lingering kitchen odors, like garlic, fry oil, and seared salmon to make sure they really work. After a lot of trial and error, we introduced them, and they flew off the shelf. They’re handmade in the United States, natural, non-toxic, and part of our effort to support local economies and small businesses.

Where is your business located?

Hither Lane currently operates out of a historic building in Ancram, NY. My husband and I purchased it in 2020. The idea was that it would be a refuge from COVID and an occasional country house. We quickly decided that we relished a quiet, simpler life and didn’t want to go back to city living. Even though I traveled to exciting places all over the world in my career, I didn’t want to live out of a suitcase anymore. I knew that I wanted to start my own business and spend more time at home, so it made sense to focus my branding efforts on those cherished moments at home, particularly in the kitchen.

What is the most difficult aspect of your business?

Surprisingly finding makers and vendors we can work with that can supply us with sustainably made, beautiful, useful, and fairly priced products is much harder than it may seem. Product safety and the environment are also a big concern. You are eating off of plates and drinking out of glasses that could impact your health. Our crystal is lead-free and carbon neutral, our table linens are made of organic cotton with natural dyes, and our dinnerware is free of heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. The US is very far behind in banning dangerous substances, so I invest a lot of time in tracking down the origin, manufacturing, and materials of the products we sell.

Why did you decide to do a pop-up store?

Before my corporate career, I’d been working in some aspect of retail since I was 14, and I really miss the face-to-face time with customers. We rented the front space of the Colonial Theater in North Canaan through the end of December and will be there every day talking to people as they engage with our products. We are passionate about cooking, eating, drinking, and cocktailing so the collection is rich with kitchen, barware, and specialty foods. 

The pop-up will allow me to test products that we don’t carry online, such as dried flower bouquets that aren’t suitable for shipping. It’s more difficult to learn from exclusively online sales, whereas in store, I’ll be able to get more qualitative feedback on the collection. The best part about owning a small business is the freedom to adjust your offering according to such feedback and how you see people responding to different items. Depending on our success in North Canaan, we’ll explore the option of a more permanent brick-and-mortar store.

What products are your particular favorites?

I love our daisy cocktail coupes that come in sets of six. Each glass is a different color so guests don’t get their drinks mixed up. The colors are muted jewel tones, which add a touch of elegant whimsy to the scene. I also love everyday useful items like our French oak crumb set to tidy up your table or the sleek, covered Irish butter dish that fits the shape of butter found at many of our great local farms. Our eco-crystal glasses are a favorite, as well, made in Italy with zero carbon emissions – all the glamour of crystal without the spooky chemicals! •

To learn more about Hither Lane and all of their offerings, visit them online at