It's that time of year in New England. The weather vacillates between unbearably hot and torrentially pouring. While there is always a chance to hit the beach when our notoriously fickle weather gods decide to grant us a little bearable sunshine, we've hit the "duck and cover" end of summer.
It's a fine coincidence that a gift shop is almost always the idea place to pop out of the rain or heat and get a little something for someone you hold dear. We'd like to introduce you to two of our favorite collections of jewelry that are quite perfect when you are weathering the... well... weather.
Lucky Feather is fun and funky, totally perfect for kids and adults. Not only are the designs to die for, but they might just bring a little luck - exactly what you need going into a new school year or entering a new job.
We have lots of their products - necklaces, charms, earrings - the whole nine yards. They are easy to pack and a great surprise for your best friend, child recently gone to school, or a close loved one.
We love Dune for a totally different reason. Sure, they're still wonderfully cute and simple fashion statements. However, each Dune piece is filled with sand collected here, on the island. When you look at a particular necklace or earring you will notice that the beach where the sand was found is clearly labeled.
Maybe a friend or relative couldn't come with you, but has loved the island ever since they were young. Perhaps you know a former islander gone to school or moved away who would appreciate taking a piece with them. Or maybe you just want to have a little keepsake for yourself!
We hope you stop by the shop during the dog days of summer. This is just a dip in our extensive, unique collection of jewelry!
Islander's know the tradition well. The third week of August picturesque Campground in Oak Bluffs is lit with lanterns and lifted with the sound of island voices singing together. However, not everyone knows the history.
Around 1835, Methodists began having yearly meetings in the midst of summer. They would bring tents and camp beside the sea, in an oak grove high on the bluffs of the Northern end of Edgartown. Over the years those tents were slowly replaced by little wooden cottages, built side by side. The Tabernacle was built in the 1870s, in the center of The Campground.
Now we have the wonderful tradition of Illumination Night! In its time the celebration marked the visit of the Governor of Massachusetts. The night means many things, but one could say that Illumination Night is in part a remembrance of the first seasonal visitors to the Island. The proceeds of the Grand Illumination go towards the upkeep and restoration of the historic Tabernacle. You can find more info about the event here!
One of our favorite parts of the Illumination Night is the variety of eclectic lights, candles, and visually spectacular lanterns. Whether you are on the Island and can join in the fun, or want to put up lights and participate from afar, we have plenty of beautiful options to choose from!
We're incredibly proud of our lantern collection. Our Allsop Home and Garden is the awesome solar powered lantern company we carry in the store, perfect for the sustainable, aesthetically driven islander! Artecnica of CA make our ever popular handmade paper stars. We also work with Cultural Intrigue, a Vermont based company, that specializes in rice paper shades and Zen Zen, a fair trade group that focuses on beautiful cloth shades.
You can't walk into the shop without stumbling upon a candle or two. From our artisanal Skeem, to Vance Kitira, to Shore Soap Candles... we could list them all day, but you'll find they aren't hard to miss!
We stock plenty of vessels to carry candles, swanky matches, strings of light, and other essentials to brighten up your evening. The best bet? Stop by the store! We can't wait you see you at Illumination Night!
If you want a little preview from Illumination Night of year's past, check out Susan Branch's blog! She wrote a lovely overview with lots of photos.
Living on the coast of New England, nestled in a little island, we often forget how lucky we are. That is, until a customer who has traveled halfway across the country to enjoy some Vineyard air remarks on all our shell products. To us a part of life, to others a novelty.
There is a "Coastal New England" aesthetic and we are chock full of it. However, rather than selling rinky-dink seashell imposters, we've got the real deal. There are starfish and shells in many a nook and cranny.
You may be leaving the island soon, or you may be arriving to your summer island home. Either way, you really can't go wrong with filling your shopping basket up with seaside mementos. Take the island with you. Get yourself something that will remind you of your perfect day at Katama Beach. Bring back a token of the Atlantic to a loved one who has never dipped their toes into the ocean.
Finally, pick the perfect frame to remember your time here. If you're a local, remember what we are reminded every day. The seashore and all it's bounty are special and we are lucky. Next time it's a midwest relative's birthday, think about giving them a little piece of your world.