The Peachtree Battle Shopping Center is somewhat of an Atlanta institution. It faces Peachtree Road and features some of the city’s most iconic retail and dining destinations, including Mint Julep, Woo Skincare + Cosmetics and Jalisco Mexican Restaurant (a personal favorite). The shopping center serves the entire Buckhead community and happens to be walking distance from my home. In short, I spend a lot of time wandering this retail gold mine, and when I spotted one of its latest residents, River Mint Finery, I knew I had found another Peachtree Battle gem.
River Mint Finery was created by two talented friends and colleagues-turned-business partners, Kat Hammill and Atlanta resident Cindy Joffe. Kat, who resides in upstate New York, is the former design director of decorative accessories for West Elm. It was her very first job in college, however, that made her see the appeal of entrepreneurship. “While at Parsons, The New School for Design, my first job during school was for modern furniture company Cite, located in SoHo,” she explains. “I knew then I wanted to be an entrepreneur and focus on designing for companies that held design at a very high level.”
Ironically, this desire to design is almost exactly how Kat and Cindy came to meet each other again. Cindy, no stranger to entrepreneurship, is one of the designers behind Atlanta’s own Avindy. Alongside her mother, Avril, Cindy (get the brand’s name now?) began her wholesale jewelry company in 2001 and met Kat through her showroom. After keeping in touch for many years, Cindy reached out to Kat for her design expertise. “I was working on a project with Kat at the time (our Avindy Jewelry Studio DIY kit),” Cindy says. “Kat expressed an interest in joining forces with us to create a new concept inspired by both the Avindy brand and Kat’s years of experience in the design world.” River Mint Finery, the team’s first retail endeavor, was born.
Walking into River Mint Finery, you’re met with a soothing, inviting atmosphere. You’ll find a long center table where Avindy jewelry is showcased amongside some of its complementary counterparts. To your left is a long, narrow shelf containing leather goods, candles, books, hats and other accessories. To your right are two racks of clothing in varying shades of neutrals, perfect for spring and summer upgrades. Cindy explains how the aesthetic of the store gives way to its merchandise. “We love to inspire our customers to try new things — a new fragrance, a new ‘look,’ a bold necklace. We have a very wide price range with an approachable price point, as well as an indulgent one.”
Filled with items that transcend trend, River Mint Finery brings a minimalistic and luxurious elegance to Atlanta. “Our focus is on bringing women a feminine and classic, yet modern, look for their wardrobe and home that has an element of unexpected beauty,” says Cindy.
Luxurious pieces fill the shelves and include everything from buttery leather bags by Penny Royal to clothing by SBJ Austin and ALO to home decor and coffee table books. “Even our candle line is like a work of fragrant art,” Cindy jokes. “Everyone, and I mean everyone, who comes in the store first comments on the beautiful scent.”
Of course Cindy’s attention to craftsmanship and detail can be credited to her hand in Avindy. Made with semiprecious gemstones and even diamonds, Avindy’s pieces are like no other, and the same principles that guide Avindy’s jewelry, guide the aesthetic at River Mint Finery. Customers will find rings crafted from textured metals, beaded bracelets that have a magnetic closure (that can also double as a necklace) and strands of chain layered with the likes of aquamarine and amazonite. “Our focus has always been on quality, craftsmanship and femininity,” explains Cindy. Even Kat’s anticipated home fragrance line, Love and Lilt, set to launch this fall, adheres to these same values.
One unique aspect of River Mint Finery is its Avindy DIY classes and open beading hours. The store offers open studio days on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where customers can come in and pick from hundreds of gemstone beads collected over the years at Avindy to make their own piece. If you have five people or more, you can book your own instructional class where everyone will walk away with their own gemstone necklace, or if working from home is more your speed, River Mint Finery offers an Avindy DIY kit, which comes with everything you need to make your own gemstone jewelry (including the gems, of course).
In just six months since its inception, the duo has achieved this and so much more in River Mint Finery. “We don’t really talk about River Mint Finery as just a store. In our minds, it’s a brand, and we are storytellers,” Cindy says. “When we consider what River Mint Finery is, we think first of the women around us. Strong, loving women, more admired and spirited as they grow older, and how they express themselves today and tomorrow.” And those are the stories we look forward to hearing for years to come!
River Mint Finery is located at 2339 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can reach the store at (678) 705-9297 or by visiting rivermintfinery.com.
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