This week we were able to talk personally with the fabulously talented Jennifer of Southern Yankee. You will recognize her unique, one of a kind design from window displays, our infant section, and throughout our store. No two Southern Yankee designs are alike, and they are all small batch, US made!
Jennifer has been sewing for as long as she can remember. Texas born, with a degree in fashion design, She moved to NYC to work in the industry. After seeing a beautiful baby's blanket made entirely from vintage handkerchieves, Jennifer knew her future.
Jennifer sources her materials from flea markets, vintage stores, and ebay. Friends and family send her boxes of vintage fabric that they have no use for, but cannot bear to throw away.
No two Southern Yankee pieces are alike, and the fabric is ever changing. Jennifer uses a US made cotton body suit as the base, and her imagination does the rest!
"The vintage handkerchiefs really speak to you, it is fun to hear people's reasons for why they pick the dress they do... maybe it's the color, or the pattern on the hankie, but there is something that speaks up." Says Jennifer about her designs.
If you are looking for a one of a kind, US made, really special new baby gift, check out what we have in stock from Southern Yankee! Find the piece that speaks to you.
All photos by Andrea Topalian of Moments by Andrea
Have you ever had a day where a thoughtful card or a chocolate bar might just make everything a little bit better? We've had those days. Even when you are feeling on top of the world, there's nothing that feels quite so much like a nice pat on the back.
Maybe that's why we love Curly Girl Designs.
Curly Girl is cute. Curly Girl is endearing. Curly Girl says the things we can't figure out how to say, with a light, off the cuff eloquence.
Whether you are congratulating or sending condolences, we're happy that we can offer Curly Girl's cards and chocolate bars. Designed somewhat locally (Boston!) by a lovely lady named Leigh, who not only creates all the beautiful artwork and witty writing featured throughout her products, but owns her own little shop AND manages to find time to write a blog
. Oh, and she's raising twins.
Leigh may be a superhero; we're still investigating.
We hope next time you visit you find yourself inspired to walk away with a little piece of Curly Girl. It can never hurt to stock up on whimsy, now can it? Make someone's day a little bit better.
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.
When you hear the words "New England gift shop" it's easy for your brain to jump to a very particular image - stuffed lobsters, taffy, fudge, piles of sweatshirts and swag emblazoned with the name of the city you're visiting. Gift shops feel tacky, a "made in China" paradise.
That's not what Rainy Day is about.
Anyone who's visited our shop knows that it's an eclectic explosion of colors and options. Our items only scream Martha's Vineyard when it makes sense, when they are really supposed to. We believe a gift shop should be exactly that - a place where you can find the perfect gift for a loved one... or yourself. We hold value in the idea that our wares are precious enough to be put on display, rather than tucked away as a forgotten memento.
We also think a lot about where our products come from. Every year we get in more Fair Trade, US Made, and Island Crafted products. It makes us feel good. It should make you feel good too. Here's why:
Fair Trade, Hand Made, or Give Backs
What is Fair Trade? Fair Trade Goods are exactly what they claim to be - fair. Fair Trade products are certified by Fair Trade USA
, an organization that ensures the farmers and laborers abroad who create Fair Trade products are compensated justly. Fair Trade USA also helps farmers and communities navigate the free market and utilize the tools they need to face the competitive global economy.
With Fair Trade USA, the money you spend on day-to-day goods can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives." Says Fair Trade USA.
We also invest a lot of time in sourcing products that are handmade or give back a percentage of their products to global help organizations. These products, while not living under the Fair Trade title, give back to the artists, communities, and individuals working so hard to live a decent life!
Ask one of our wonderful employees about which of these products we have in stock when you stop by!
Made in USA
Why should you buy American made products? Every time you purchase something made in America, you are putting that money back into our national economy. A process where dollars continue to recycle from hand to American hand begins. American producers are also often faced with strict regulations and inspections. Most important? It's fun to support America.
Check out some of our American Made products next time you're in the shop!
This category, we are particularly proud of. We love knowing the actual artisans and crafters who make our products. Whether it be locally foraged teas, salts, rock slabs, soaps... the list goes on, we know where that money is going. And living on an island means that, like any small town, we get to learn about the intricate lives and backstories of our Vineyard producers.
When you walk into Rainy Day, you're not just walking into a gift shop. You're walking into an experience, a way of life, a perspective of the world that values small companies whose sources you can trust.
In fact, that's why we started this blog. To highlight new products and sales, of course, but also to introduce our wonderful customers to the people and companies behind the products they're purchasing.
Thank you for choosing Rainy Day!