In 2019, Manda Kovar, 43, and Lanie Marcus, 44, two moms from Port Washington opened The Wellground, a hidden, appointment-only clothing store set in a small office atop a Subway sandwich shop. Recently, after expanding at their former space, the duo has hopped across the street, and although their new location is just a stone’s throw away, their business here is a world apart.
Set in a two-level former real estate office with huge front windows that present a flashy fashion display, the new venue offers substantially more than garments. Yes, it’s like a mini department store with sectioned fashion vignettes filled with top brands such as Loveshack Fancy, ALC, Veronica Beard, IRO and an entire denim wall featuring Mother and Frame lines. But, says Kovar, "Retail is difficult and you have to go beyond just clothes. For us, we’ve tried to create more of an experience, a place that brings people together, a place to make connections."
To that end, the women keep it fresh with an ever-changing roster of trunk shows, visiting experts and beauty treatments. One month it could be about astrological readings, and a trunk show by a coveted, yet obscure jewelry designer. In February, among other in-store happenings, you can get a styling session with a former Vogue editor/celebrity stylist.
Other events shoppers can look forward to are a visit by low-fructose candy maker Made Sweet by Amanda, a sampling by a small batch cocktail company, the opportunity to get eyelash lifts or extensions by an aesthetician who works on supermodels ("and now, moms," says Kovar), a new bathing suit intro and men’s and boy’s haircuts by a top Long Island barber.
The duo’s brand new home department includes hostess gifts such as coffee table books, candles, bookends, backgammon sets and more. Mixed in here, a new private label line of home goods dubbed LaMande (the name, a Lanie and Manda combo) filled with interesting, sculptural objects such as vases.
Downstairs, it’s the "Wellground Sanctuary" where an on-site aesthetician offers expert eyebrow shaping, lymphatic drainage and many other beauty treatments. There are wellness and beauty products galore including the cult-y French favorite Biologique Recherche and a wide array of lounge and activewear.
"We’ve tried to bring services and trunk shows to the community that we would want for ourselves." Kovar adds, "It’s a warm, inviting unique space in the town we love where you can come in, get a treatment, pick up a gift, buy something for yourself and feel like you’re at home."
Prices vary from $12 for a tie-dye, reusable tote by Baggu to $25 for a Jonathan Adler "Shelter Island" scented candle to $795 for a formal, black tie dress by ALC.
The Wellground is located at 917 Port Washington Blvd., in Port Washington. The store hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday by appointment only; 516-570-2524, thewellground.com.