Nina Ziefvert has the creative, upstate lifestyle figured out. She owns and runs NINA Z, a highly curated vintage clothing store on the main street in Hudson. And out of her shop, she also sells NINA Z clogs, the clog company she founded and now runs alongside her husband! All while taking care of their young daughter and being a super hip mom.
On our last rainy morning in Hudson, we caught up with Nina at her shop, lusted over some clogs, tried on some vintage dresses, and got the low-down on how she does it all!
Describe your style in three words.
Classic, but unconventional. Caroline Kennedy goes to the dollar store.
Who / what are your biggest influences?
Travels! And the way people dress on the streets wherever I go. Pink toes in a mule on a mosaic floor, or laundry drying on a clothes rack, the color combos and inspirations are endless all around me.
Oh, and SADE is one of my biggest style influences! I can just listen to one of her songs and get dressed from that!
What made you decide to start your own clog brand?
It was really the lack of clogs in NYC back then (2006). I worked in fashion and the arts since graduating from FIT, and being Swedish I often wore clogs. They were vintage clogs I would find at fleas and in thrift stores in Sweden. Friends, colleagues and strangers would ask me where I got them and often asked if I could bring some back for them. That’s how it all started.
In 2008, I got my first samples and it evolved from there. I didn’t have a big plan back then, but one thing lead to another. Then, my husband (a former NYC DJ) joined the company and trained with a traditional cobbler in Queens. Then, we got a studio and started making things in house!
What is your process for sourcing vintage pieces for your boutique?
I only pick pieces that I’m able to envision myself wearing. I really still pick ALL the pieces myself. And I only sell natural materials: linen, cotton, cashmere, wool, silk, so that eliminates a lot of vintage as well. I source pieces for the shop everywhere I go…
For example: when we go to Botswana (where my husband is from) in the winter, I visit the local markets, as well as Johannesburg. And when I go to Sweden I source there. I’m basically never not sourcing :).
Now with my new NINA Z blouse line, I can use all these beautiful old silks and linens as fabrics.
And I never turn down a vintage straw bag, I love them, I think I have at least 30 straw bags in my closet and always have a selection at the shop as well.
What is your most treasured vintage find?
A Kenzo tunic that’s made in the most beautiful striped Japanese cotton. It’s one of those pieces that I always come back to…
What do you love about living in Hudson and being a part of this group of women-owned small-businesses here?
After our daughter was born and after living in nyc for 15 years, we moved upstate. I really appreciate it in comparison to big city living–everything takes less time, which allows for more time with our daughter, the shop and just life.
For example: I live two blocks from the shop–so my commute is 4 minutes of walking, rather than 45 minutes on the train. If you have a Dr. appointment at two they see you at two, not at five, which makes life much less stressful in many ways.
I think I’m a much better mother up here because of this.
I love all the small business owners, the artists, and the creatives in town because we are all in it together. I’ve met many amazing women, that might not do exactly what I do, but we all support each other and collaborate when possible. And, it’s fun just to stop by each other’s businesses for a chat.
I am really happy living in Hudson.