Earlier this summer, Hamptons-based creative media company Dune Road Lifestyle introduced Out East Vibes podcast. Hosted by Dune Road Lifestyle founder and creative director Rex Chatterjee, the podcast dropped with Sasha Benz, and since has welcomed Susan Sandler, DJ Nicole Rosé, Oli Benz and Luke Gulbranson. Guests cover a range of captivating topics – such as post-COVID wedding planning advice (Sasha), the true-to-life guy behind the “Summer House” persona (Luke), DJing and modeling (Oli), a cockroach allergy (Nicole) and much more.
We spoke with the Dune Road Lifestyle team about venturing into the podcast realm, the East End mindset and much more.
Tell us about Dune Road Lifestyle.
DRL: Dune Road Lifestyle is a digital media and creative services company founded in the Hamptons. Prior to our incorporation and launch as a formal business, we existed online as a very basic website and Google Map combo offering a select list of places to eat and drink out east.
Our founder, Rex Chatterjee, grew up coming out to the Hamptons in the summer. As his network in NYC and beyond grew via attending college and law school, entering the professional world as a lawyer, he became known as a go-to resource for folks wanting a recommendation or advice re: planning a trip to the Hamptons. As these requests grew more frequent, Rex created a Google Map of his favorite places, and also built a companion website to offer his insight and specific recommendations with respect to the places he highlighted on the map.
As these resources grew in popularity among his social circle and beyond, Rex went about canvassing the entirety of the Hamptons in order to create a comprehensive selection across the restaurant and bars categories. Soon after, the guide was expanded to include coffee shops, hotels / resorts, spas, fitness providers, and retail boutiques.
The goal throughout the creation of “The Dune Road Lifestyle Hamptons Guide,” as it came to be known, was not to catalogue every single establishment falling into the aforementioned categories, but rather to offer a selection of those offering uncompromising quality coupled with a millennial / Gen-Z-centric edit with respect to style and aesthetic. The latter set of factors, in the company’s opinion, is a point of distinction between Dune Road Lifestyle and the existing platforms focused directly and specifically on the Hamptons.
The company was incorporated in 2019 and the expansion of the Guide continued, again with the selective curation process described above.
In early 2020, the website was rebranded as Dune Road Lifestyle and offered the existing Guide along with a Blog section that was intended to cover events throughout Summer 2020. With the onset of COVID, the Blog pivoted away from covering life events and into running more general interest / feature stories across a number of categories.
In May 2020, Dune Road Lifestyle launched its Hamptons Reopenings page, featuring a collected list of restaurants, bars and other businesses (whether featured on the Guide or not) with their then-current service offerings for consumers under the relevant social distancing and other public health requirements as prescribed by NYS / Suffolk County / TSH or TEH. We launched the page / initiative as a way to help out local businesses in what we viewed / still view as a very precarious commercial situation. We conducted manual outreach and posted data on our site for free, at no cost to local businesses.
In June of 2020, we decided to add a podcast to our slate of content offerings.
Why venture into the podcast realm?
DRL: The venture into the podcast realm was born out of a desire to achieve two objectives: 1) to highlight and amplify important voices in the Hamptons ecosystem, whether these voices belong to local business owners, influencers, thought leaders, or those with otherwise interesting perspectives to share on life out east; and 2) to offer folks generally interested in the Hamptons a supplementary and novel way to connect with life and culture out east, particularly in a time when physical proximity (i.e., coming out east) may be difficult or impossible given ongoing public health measures, restrictions. We chose the name “Out East Vibes” because it’s a precise (albeit millennial-inflected) description of the content we aim to provide.
Who can listeners expect to hear from and what topics will “Out East Vibes” cover?
DRL: The ‘”Out East Vibes” Podcast will feature a diverse set of voices from various segments of Hamptons life. Our guests range from local East End business owners to global influencers with a Hamptons connection, and everywhere in between. We also feature guests with unique perspectives on topics of particular interest to our Hamptons-focused audience, such as fitness gurus, heath and wellness experts, fashion stylists, and more.
In terms of topics, we cover a wide range there as well. We dig deep into the backstories of our notable guests, telling the story of how they got from where they started to where they are today. We look for nuggets of business and life wisdom, and really try to “peel the onion” back from folks’ social media presences down to who they are as people in their day-to-day lives. Of course, we also cover topics specific to the Hamptons, such as our guests’ favorite places to grab a bite or go for drinks, their best Hamptons stories / memories. Finally, being a pro-business organization, we love serving as a platform for our guests to get the word out on what they’re currently working on, where our audience can commercially or socially engage with them.
In totality, our goal for our guests is to have them feel “seen,” particularly for who they truly are, and for our audience, to help them feel more connected to the Hamptons during this unprecedented and difficult time.
What does an ideal day and evening in the Hamptons look like?
DRL: Note: the below reflects our usual from 2019. This summer, it’s been a bit different and markedly less interesting, and hopefully the below will reflect our normal again in 2021.
The day definitely starts off in the water, ideally with a surf at Ditch Plains. It’s how we have our “board meetings.” After that, we’re not big breakfast eaters, so something on the lighter side from Ditch Witch or Goldberg’s usually does the trick. If it’s a weekday, we’re all mostly working, but on weekends, it’s either a trip to Wölffer or Duck Walk Vineyards to enjoy the great wines of the East End in a gorgeous setting.
We’re then usually popping into various retail shops across the East End just to stay on top of what’s new, and maybe make a purchase or three. By nightfall, we’re setting off to meet friends for drinks and dinner, often at Bistro Eté or Cove Hollow Tavern. Then, of course, it’s time to party, and one can usually find us at Surf Lodge or someplace similar.
For 2020, this has all been pared back to fully socially distanced activity, with much of our dining and socializing happening at home / via video chat. Nevertheless, we’re optimistic that we’ll see a return to normalcy sooner or later, with the advent of new therapies for the treatment and potential eradication of COVID being somewhat on the horizon at the time of this writing.
Besides the podcast, what else does Dune Road Lifestyle have lined up for the summer?
DRL: We’ve got a variety of new content in the works for our blog, entitled “What’s Hot Out East.” From featuring the best ways to get a socially distanced workout, to essential summer beauty products one just can’t afford to miss, we’re looking forward to providing our audience with useful and interesting content so they can make the most of summer 2020 out east or anywhere else.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
DRL: At this time, we’re focused entirely on summer 2020, but as the season will eventually wind to a close, we’re looking forward to keeping the party going and spreading love from out east with a more globally focused content pivot during the off-season. More on that soon.
For more information about Dune Road Lifestyle, visit duneroadlifestyle.com.