Doers and Dreamers – Darbie Nowatka and Justin Rice

New retail businesses are popping up in the area pretty regularly now and it’s a welcome sight in that it shows confidence in the economy, provides a better collective shopping experience for residents and visitors, as well as enables people to shop local and support their neighbors. This week’s Doers and Dreamers are fitting nicely into the Uptown Kingston landscape and helping to make shopping fun again in the Historic Stockade District with the charming space that they’ve created.


Your name: Darbie Nowatka and Justin Rice

Business or organization: Lovefield Vintage – 37 North Front Street, Kingston, NY 12401

Occupation: Shopkeepers, Vintage hunter/gatherers

What is your approach to your business or occupation that makes you unique?
I(Darby)  have been collecting vintage clothing forever. I started thrifting in middle school, and spent most of the 90s dressed like it was 1976. I still go out and choose every piece for the shop individually. Keeping it super curated (and wearable!) is really important for me. I never buy things just because they are old. If it makes it on the racks it’s because I love it.

Where are you from originally?
I’m from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey and Justin is from Dallas, Texas.

What brought you to the Kingston area and keeps you in this area?
We moved up here seven years ago. We had outgrown our apartment in Brooklyn, and were ready to give life outside the city a try. We used to come to the Ulster County area on weekends, and really fell in love with Kingston. At first, we were casually looking at real estate listings, but when we found our house we knew it was meant to be. When we moved here we didn’t know a single person, but it didn’t take long for us to find an amazing community.

What is your favorite hangout in this area and why?
When we’re downtown, Brunette! And when we’re uptown, Stockade Tavern! They both have great drinks, sweet bartenders, and delightful atmosphere.

When you’re not in Kingston, what’s your idea of a wonderful city to visit, and why?
We love traveling to Mexico, but we never go to the beach. Our favorite thing to do is hop around from town to town checking out all the local markets. So much color and noise and vitality. We always come home with suitcases full of treasures.

Tell us something that we never would have guessed about you.
We also make music and we love a weird challenge. In 2006 our band, Bishop Allen, wrote, recorded, and released a 4 song EP every month. I designed the artwork and we hand addressed and mailed each one. And shortly after we moved up here we started a project called The Last Names and recorded 40 covers in a year (it was supposed to be 52, but you know, life!)