Sure, fans come to Keeneland for the world-class Thoroughbred racing; gorgeous, Central Kentucky landscapes; and iconic bourbon bread pudding, but there’s the shopping too.
The Keeneland gift shop carries all manner of equine-related clothing and accessories, including jackets from British-based Barbour and hats by New York milliner Christine A. Moore. But Kyle Cassin, director of retail at Keeneland, has a plan to add offerings much closer to home.
Cassin came to Keeneland in September after working in the golf industry for the past 10 years, most recently as championship merchandising manager for the PGA. This spring, the gift shop has started offering a line of bespoke feather bow ties from Brackish, a Charleston, S.C., company. Now, too, you’ll find a collection of handcrafted bags by Lexington-based Henry Dry Goods, part of Cassin’s effort to add Kentucky-made merchandise.
“There are a lot of really great products that are produced in the state of Kentucky and even more so here in Lexington,” Cassin said. “Keeneland is a local brand, too, that is trying to raise its national awareness. And we think that partnering with really good quality local brands that are made here in Lexington is not only helping elevate their brand but elevate Keeneland’s brand.”
Henry Dry Goods owner Sherri Henry Wolf designed the heavy canvas bags that feature prints of horse bits and Keeneland’s traditional green posts. All bags are made in her shop on Jefferson Street, where Wolf works with a team of six people. Grain leather accents are dyed and crafted by a neighboring business, Borderstate Made.
“To get to work with Keeneland and do a product that really reflects their classic style, it’s a good fit,” Wolf said. The bags range from $92 to $205 at the Keeneland gift shop. “It definitely reflects all of the handcrafted work that goes into them, all done here in Lexington, which is very neat,” she said. “We’re very proud of that.”
It’s that kind of detailed custom work that Cassin is in search of for future merchandise.
“For Keeneland, we want to make sure that we’re aligning with really good-quality products,” he said. “So we’re not necessarily just going to partner with anybody just because they’re local.” For the fall, custom Bauer’s Candies are planned, and he’s in the talking stages with other companies. Cassin said he hopes to highlight Kentucky products with a special space in the shop and he hopes that shoppers stop by to see the changes any time.
“What we do here at Keeneland is a 12-month-a-year lifestyle brand, not just when the races are going on,” he said. “We want people to be as fanatical about our brand as they are about the University of Kentucky and take as much pride in it as they do UK.”
More shopping news
Scout & Molly’s, a women’s clothing and accessories boutique company with more than 20 stores, is coming to The Summit at Fritz Farm. According to the company’s website, brands include Alexis Bittar, Cynthia Vincent, and Elizabeth and James. The Summit, a mixed-use development at Nicholasville Road and Man o’ War Boulevard, is scheduled to open in March.
Record Store Day at CD Central, 377 South Limestone, is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. The day will include live music, limited-edition vinyl releases, and the Gastro Gnomes food truck. Call 859-233-3472 or go to Cdcentralmusic.com for more info.
A Matthew Campbell Laurenza jewelry trunk show will be 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers, 410 West Vine Street. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Lexington Art League. Shelia Bayes also donated a bracelet by Laurenza for “The 20” art auction, 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday at The Loudoun House, 209 Castlewood Drive. For more information, call 859-225-4043 or go to Sheliabayes.com.
Artique will host Debbie Maloney of Two White Hats: Native American Jewelry & Artifacts this weekend for a trunk show of handcrafted Native American jewelry.
Shows will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at The Shops at Lexington Center, 430 West Vine Street, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at The Mall at Lexington Green. For more information, go to Artiquegallery.com.
The Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse at Shelbyville Road Plaza in Louisville will host a trunk show of accessories and hats from C.K. Nobles Millinery, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The store will offer 20 percent off your entire purchase, and Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses will be there from 1 to 2 p.m. The address for the store is 4600 Shelbyville Road, Suite 201.