Home Is Where the Heart Is
Kasa Mercantile, Sara Hinson’s new boutique in Riverlights, offers unique goods you won’t find elsewhere in Wilmington.
Sara Hinson, the owner of Kasa Mercantile in Wilmington, had always wanted to open her own retail store, but her post-college career path would first curve in a different direction.
With a bachelor’s degree in merchandising from East Carolina University and a master’s from Oklahoma State in merchandising, Hinson was properly prepped with the training and passion for small business ownership. Instead, she worked in the corporate world and, most recently, in sales for a new home builder in the Riverlights community.
“When my job in sales was phasing out, I didn’t know what I was going to do,” says the mother of two daughters, ages 3 and 6. “Do I stay home with the kids and try that for a little bit? But I knew that was just not me and I kind of felt stuck and depressed like the four walls were pushing in a little bit, you know?”
Hinson’s solution, after encouragement from her husband to take the plunge, was her very own retail boutique, Kasa Mercantile.
She opened it in October 2022 in the Marina Village section of Riverlights, the community she has called home for the last five years and where she now happily works.
The store’s concept, she says, encompasses a blend of the many different things she loves — things you would find in the Hinson home, hence the spin on “casa.”
“It’s a direct reflection of me,” Hinson says. “There are a lot of clothing-specific boutiques in Wilmington — not necessarily on this side of town — so I knew I wanted to be different. I wanted to be a little more modern and not as much traditional Southern classic. I wanted to bring a different vibe to Wilmington.”
Her goal was to source items that aren’t normally found in the area, with the intention of being very specific with including smaller brands in her inventory. Expect the store to be stocked with unique accessories, apparel for women, children, and men, home accents, and gift items.
“My husband felt like there was nowhere to shop for men’s clothing, so I definitely wanted to incorporate that by starting with more golf athleisure for the golfers in our neighborhood and that’s done really well,” Hinson says. “Clothing has done so well so far, so I’ll definitely be beefing that up for spring. I’m still figuring out what people are really wanting from me.”
It’s a discovery process in the honeymoon phase of Kasa Mercantile, but Hinson says folks can also expect more kids clothing options in the spring as well as a few events the store will host in the spring and summer.
“My goal is to bring in a little something fresh and new every week,” she says. “A lot of people say they’ve never seen these brands and they love how homey but spacious it is in here. They like the overall feel and smell of the store. I have a lot of essential oils and products that are very clean and nontoxic, whether it’s bath or facial products or candles. It’s the whole experience.”
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2014 Arcadian Row, Suite 120, Wilmington