Montecito Country Mart Welcomes New Faces

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 19, 2019
Mate Gallery owners Matt Albiani and Ron Brand have expanded at Montecito Country Mart, offering Mate Men, a new men’s clothing and furnishing shop

Two new shops have opened at Montecito Country Mart, just in time for the final push of the holiday shopping season.

Matt Albiani and Ron Brand, owners of Mate Gallery, have expanded their offerings into the adjacent space – formerly occupied by Kendall Conrad – opening Mate Men on Thursday, December 12. Mate Men carries a carefully curated selection of men’s clothing and furnishings, the majority of which are from boutique East Coast brands. Such brands include Rivay – think stylish shirts, jackets, and sweaters– and preppy blazers from Rowing Blazers, both based out of New York City. “The shop is an extension of the Mate brand, which brings East Coast sensibility to a little California beach town,” said Brand.

The eclectic shop also carries skincare from Ursa Major of Vermont, soaps from Royal Lyme, Timex watches with grosgrain ribbon straps, needle point wallets and key fobs, an array of delicate wine decanters, L.L. Bean totes, Prince of Scotland merino wool blankets, and vintage books and art. It’s also an outpost for a selection of vintage OP shorts, of which there is a sort of “cult following.” “They’ve become harder and harder to come by, and we are pleased to offer them,” said Brand.

Mate Gallery and now, Mate Men, are a creative outlet for the duo, who spend time on both coasts. Brand is a successful realtor with Compass Real Estate and Albiani is a fashion photographer; several of his photos adorn the walls of both shops. The duo also recently acquired a two-cottage vacation rental compound on Montauk in East Hampton, and have spent the year renovating it in the “Mate” nautical aesthetic. To learn more about the cottages, visit

JP Cajuste, co-owner of Indian Pink, has opened a pop-up shop at Montecito Country Mart

“It’s divine and like the tiny studio apartment of the most interesting man in the universe,” said fashion designer and Montecito resident Olivia Joffrey about Mate Men following the opening party on December 12. Mate Gallery and Mate Men are open 11 am to 5 pm daily, both are located at Montecito Country Mart at 1046 Hot Springs Road. Visit for more information.

Also open at the Mart: new pop-up shop Indian Pink, a Los Angeles-based design company offering textiles from around the world. The brainchild of husband and wife team Tamara and JP Cajuste, the company was created in 2007 after Tamara, a flight attendant by trade, began discovering incredible fabrics from her travels to far-away places including India, China, Indonesia, Africa, Mexico, Europe, and beyond. “She realized these fabrics were not mass-produced like in the United States; they had a story and a culture behind them,” said JP, who was running the small shop during our visit last week. “They are truly one-of-a-kind.” The couple and their team create various items with the fabrics, including pillows, blankets, and upholstery, as well as some wearable items. “We consider ourselves artists, as well as lover of pillows!” he said.

The space, located next to Poppy, offers dozens of large statement pillows in both neutral and bold prints, which JP says “can change the feel of a room.”

To learn more, visit

Both small stores join several successful shops and eateries at the Mart, including Read ‘N’ Post, George Pet Store, Toy Crazy, Poppy Store, Hudson Grace, Malia Mills, James Pearse, Montecito Natural Foods, Space NK Apothecary, Bettina, Rori’s Creamery, Merci, Pressed Juicery, Coco Cabana, Little Alex’s, Caffe Luxxe, Panino, Montecito Barbers, Vons, Union Bank, and One Hour Martinizing.


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