Actress and furniture lover Julianne Moore once said, “If I had to choose between clothes and furniture, I’d choose furniture.” If you share that love, particularly of mid-century modern pieces as well as eclectic, curated art, tableware, and other unique objects, a visit to Refind Modern in Charlestown is a must. Here you’ll find stunning pieces such as a 1967 rosewood Eames chair and ottoman, a pair of rosewood case sofas by Milo Baughman, and a very rare, long rosewood credenza by Swiss architect Dieter Waeckerlin, mixed with items like whales carved from large pieces of driftwood, the handiwork of artist and the store’s co-owner Seth Gross.
Gross and business partner Colin Kelly were formerly the sole partners at Verdigris Antiques. Things were going well until Kelly was offered a job as director of operations at start-up Mochi ice cream. He took the job and moved to New York City. Gross, overwhelmed by running Verdigris alone (as well as a rental property and wedding business), coupled with rent increases, decided to close up shop. During the pandemic, Kelly returned to South County, realizing he preferred working with antiques to sitting at a desk from nine to five every day, and the two decided to go back into business together.
When searching for a space, looking as far south as possible was the initial plan – perhaps Westerly, Watch Hill, even Pawcatuck, CT – to be right off the highway, near tourist destinations, and closer to New York City. However, when a spot in Charlestown opened up, they jumped on it, and Refind Modern was born. When asked about the location pivot, Kelly responds “there are so many people that made a mass exodus from NY to little South County during the pandemic, and we have a better customer base at this location because people intentionally come here, whereas in Wakefield, being on Main Street we got a lot of browsers. Here we make more sales.”
Do Gross and Kelly consider themselves makers, pickers, or curators? “We’re kind of everything combined,” says Kelly. “We are mostly pickers and curators. But Seth is very artistic. He has an interior architecture background.” Gross’ hand-carved whales are a big hit. His ex-girlfriend who owned Ramblin’ Rose Antiques (now closed) encouraged Gross and displayed his first piece at her shop. It was not for sale, but so many people asked if it was, that he made more. To date, his work has been displayed at galleries in Nantucket and Maine.
“My vision for Refind Modern would be to become a staple in the community and show what Charlestown can be. I hope that it will lead to inspiring other young people to start cool businesses here,” Kelly says. “We have a very interesting and diverse customer base: young couples, first-time home buyers, older people, designers, and even some celebrities that I won’t and can’t name. There’s a lot of cool locals that are design-minded, but also New Yorkers that have relocated here either full or part time. You would be surprised who finds their way into this shop.”
5680 Post Road, Charlestown
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