Piemont Outfitters Secures Trademarks To Sell Tourist Merch In River Towns, Hudson Valley
By Tina Traster
It started with a problem in search of a solution, as so many businesses do. Specifically, a ratty, threadbare sweatshirt Christine Cazzola wanted to replace. But it wasn’t easy to find a newer version of the garment, with its faded letters of Cazzola’s hometown Piermont.
After a frustrating trip to Buttercup, the now-shuttered boutique where the sweatshirt was originally purchased, and a dissatisfying look around the internet amid the COVID blues, Cazzola didn’t surrender. Instead, her inner entrepreneur took hold and led her to create Piermont Outfitters, a line of sweatshirts and leisurewear that promotes Piermont with a slick logo of the village’s name and the new Mario Cuomo bridge. Since then, the company also promotes Nyack and plans to expand to other river towns in Westchester.
"After searching around everywhere, I had no other choice but to design one,” said Cazzola. “I knew I could have one custom made with just the word ‘Piermont,’ but I wanted to offer a top quality product with a great design at a time when people were wearing only comfy clothes during the pandemic.”
What Cazzola has quickly figured out since launching her online portal in Nov. 2020 is that she is really in the tourism industry. At the recent Piermont Octoberfest, which drew more than 10,000 people, her merchandise sold briskly.
“People come to a place, and they have a good experience,” said Cazzola. “They visit Piermont and go for a hike or out to dinner and they want to leave with a souvenir shirt. It’s not something they’re seeking out. It’s an impulse purchase.”
Over the past 14 months, Cazzola has experienced the growing pains of a small business in search of its niche. Selling at the Piermont Farmers Market – when she can get a table – has proven fruitful. Trying to snag a spot at the Nyack Farmers Market has been impossible to date. Cazzola prepared robustly for the Piermont winter bazaars that ran three consecutive weekends but were poorly attended.
The online retailer has set up a pop-up in Canzona’s market on Piermont Avenue. Her merch is also for sale at Maria Luisa and Long Path Outfitters in Nyack.
Cazzola moved to Piermont seven years ago and spent eight months renovating her house. She was drawn to the Hudson River village by its beauty, nearby hiking, and the friendly village feel. Although she continues to work in the property management field, Cazzola felt inspired to put Piermont on the map via leisurewear.
Originally, she approached the Piermont Civic Association with her idea. The group didn’t bite. So she decided to do it herself, which is how it came about. Cazzola then turned to her artist daughter, Elizabeth to create the sleek logo.
With a design in hand, Cazzola next secured trademarks for Piermont, Nyack, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington, Upstate, and Hudson Valley.
“This way I can expand the brand,” said Cazzola, who understands that her product is fundamentally a tourism item, as well as a product that locals love. The line, sourced only from the U.S., includes hoodies, zips and tees for adults, toddlers, babies, and dogs.
For now, Cazzola is finding her entrepreneurial sea legs to promote Piermont and neighboring Hudson River villages. She says she’d like to find a 500 square foot space where she can set up shop. Even better, Cazzola thinks Piermont needs a visitors center, which she says she’d man.
“This is my big dream,” she said. “I’ve approached the village about this. I’d be there with a crew working for me, so long as I can sell my sweatshirts.”