Y&H Mercantile DRAFT

by | Oct 20, 2013 | ART

Founded in March 2013, Y&H Mercantile is a Richmond shop that specializes in women’s and men’s apparel and accessories and aims to cater to Richmond’s fashion forward crowd.

Founded in March 2013, Y&H Mercantile is a Richmond shop that specializes in women’s and men’s apparel and accessories and aims to cater to Richmond’s fashion forward crowd.

Run and owned by Yaa Taah and Hansi Armentrout, a married couple they describe their merchandise as a combination of “global bohemian with an Americana inspired rocker.” The name of the shop, Y&H Mercantile, comes from combination the first letter of each of their names, Yaa Taah and Hansi Armentrout.

Both owners moved to Richmond from Oakland, California and the West Coast influence can be felt the moment you step foot through the door. There is a very free-spirited, boho mood in Y&H Mercantile that instantly conjures thoughts of California. However, when talking to Armentrout about the West Coast vibe of the store, he explains that it was entirely unintentional. “We weren’t trying to be that but it’s just a function of who we are.”

The couple were drawn to open Y&H Mercantile in Richmond for various reasons. Most of their family lived along the East Coast and they wanted to be closer, but they weren’t sure exactly what city to open their shop.

They debated between Philadelphia, New York and Richmond but finally decided on Richmond. The abundance of culture, art and education in Richmond led them to the River city. The affordability of opening their shop in Richmond was also a key factor in the decision.

Taah and Armentrout have a background in both business and the fashion industry; both worked corporate jobs before deciding to open their richmond shop, but it was Taah’s history with Buffalo Exchange, a vintage clothing distributor, as well being a corporate buyer for Gap, which helped form the fashion end of Y&H. Hansi’s time in the corporate world has worked wonders with their business end. “After a while, we just wanted to see if we could do our own thing,” said Armentrout.

Y&H is unique for various reasons. It abounds in gorgeous patterns, bold colors and unique textures. Their domestic buying strategy has also played a key role in their success; Taah and Armentrout work hard to bring pieces that were manufactured in America into their store and try to avoid buying international wears when possible. Armentrout explained their goal is to “bring in fashionable but still price conscious pieces that are still quality pieces.”

Since opening Y&H Mercantile about a year ago, Armentrout has noticed several fashion trends and quirks that are specifically unique to Richmond. He explained there are several different types of styles prominent in Richmond but the abundance of prep (and the bow tie in particular) and punk rock styles in Richmond stand out to him. Two of his favorite fashions specific to Richmond are beards and tattoos.

Y&H Mercantile is located at 119A North Robinson Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220 and is open Monday through Saturday 11AM-6PM and Sunday 1PM-5PM. To keep updated on future sales and events at Y&H Mercantile, check Y&H Mercantile out on Facebook. Additionally, watch out for their website as Hansi Armentrout explains that he and Yaa Taah plan on “launching the website very, very soon.”

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

more in art

X-Glide’s Mission Is Putting Virginia Street Dance on the Map

"That was just one of the best weekends I've ever had in my life." I'm sitting on the steps of Main Street Station with Elijah "X-Glide" Fulgham, a 22-year-old up-and-comer in the East Coast street dance scene. He's telling me about his experience at the Red Bull...

Scenes From First Fridays May 2023

Our talented photographer Jody Adams @artbyothers__ managed to capture some splendid moments from a bustling Friday night at First Fridays in Richmond, VA, along with a few snaps from the weekend performance of Devoids at Get Tight Lounge. From people admiring the...

Artist Shane McFadden is Finding his Way

Shane McFadden is a VisArts resident looking to take virtual spaces and make them real through darkroom processes. He completed his BFA in Photography + Film at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2022 and has been practicing photography since he was 16.  In this...

Finding God, DMX, Fire, and Fries On First Fridays

I was tasked with covering the First Friday in April. It was a big day. Not only was it the 18th birthday of Gallery 5, it was also Good Friday. I languished at home for a while, deliberating whether I wanted to go out on a cold and rainy night when the weather had...


Pin It on Pinterest