The village of Woodstock is synonymous with the arts. Although the shops and restaurants that have opened in recent years are less focused on a tie-dye “Voodoo Chile” vibe, their aesthetic and offerings are still aligned with the bohemian artist colonies that existed long before the festival-that-didn’t-happen-here—with artisans held in high regard.
Home decor and gift shop Casa Ziki is one of these artist-forward, post-pandemic additions to the town’s main drag, offering statement-piece housewares and accessories, both locally handmade and globally sourced. A salmon-colored portico frames a royal blue door that beckons passersby to enter the Mill Hill Road location.
“I think people come to Woodstock to shop because they want something unique to add to their homes, like art prints, handmade mugs, and items that support artists,” says Sylvana Kiss-Zinshtein, shop owner and buyer. “When people walk in here, they don’t expect to see what they see, which is a really fun, colorful, eclectic mix of objects and art.”
The boutique offers a wide range of wares, like organic kitchen textiles; one-of-a-kind ceramics—from mugs, to bongs, to Furby sculptures; throw blankets and pillows; handbags and sunglasses; and more, all in vibrant hues that provide a kaleidoscopic sensory experience for shoppers. Besides the occasional Bowie or Marley holiday ornament, Kiss shies away from Woodstock kitsch.
As for local art, you’ll find paintings, photography, and sculpted works by a rotating cadre of artists, including the likes of Justin Love, Madelyn Goodman, and Bill Patrick among makers of various media who’ve been featured. “We like to collab with local artists and display their works along one big wall, rotating the featured artist every four to six months,” Kiss says. “I’d like to connect more with artists and artisans for events, too. For example, we did an art opening for photographer Bill Patrick and recently started hosting clothing pop-ups.”
Casa Ziki started as a Brooklyn-based brand with its first shop opened in 2019; Kiss brought the second location to Woodstock two years later, at the site of the former art supply store on Mill Hill Road. “I was living in Brooklyn, but spent a lot of time in Woodstock with family during the pandemic and fell in love with the town and the Hudson Valley,” she says. “So, in 2021, I decided to open a second store up here right after I had a baby. I know that’s a crazy time to do it, but I found an amazing space and felt like I had to take the chance.”
This take-the-leap mindset was a driving force behind the original store, as well. “I studied finance and have a business background—I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” she explains. “I owned a restaurant in Brooklyn for a while, then realized I never wanted to do that, so I ended up working at a friend’s concept store. I also owned a jewelry brand, which taught me a lot about buying. One day I was walking down the block and found a building that had a space opening; I decided to take it on a whim. We started as a pop-up within the building owner’s retail shop, and quickly grew into the space as our own.”
The name, Casa Ziki, is derived from the Spanish word for home, casa, and a combination of Kiss’s and her husband’s, Sasha Zinshtein, last names. Zinshtein, who works on Wall Street, is her business partner in both locations, as well.
A self-proclaimed shopaholic, Kiss has used Casa Ziki to channel her skill for finding distinctive, quality goods and scratch that shopping itch. “I love buying things, so I needed to make some money out of this addiction,” she says with a laugh. But her larger goal has been to create a space that evokes feelings of surprise and delight.
“I’m always on the hunt for new and unique things that are also colorful and vibrant,” she says. “I love when people walk in and are wowed; that’s why we often rotate merchandise and artists, so that people can revisit but always find something new.”
This includes pop-ups with artisans who have a connection to the region. This month, you’ll find a pop-up by clothing brand RLC. “I was put in touch with the founder, Rachel, through a friend, and she seemed like a perfect fit,” Kiss says. “The amazing thing about RLC is the craftsmanship—she’s based in, and designs in, the Hudson Valley, but her materials are made in Italy and France in small batches.” Shoppers can browse seasonal women’s clothes and accessories in natural fabrics, including sweaters, gloves, hats, and knits at Casa Ziki through the fall.
“It’s exciting for us to work with artists and we hope to do more to make it just as exciting for the community,” Kiss says. “It’s heartwarming to me to see people reacting with excitement when they visit—I love to see that. I want you to be wowed.”