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.
Whether it's raining or the sun is in full force, whether you find yourself on Martha's Vineyard or off island, there is really nothing better than ending your day with a refreshing drink. We love carrying the unique Evergreen Crystal line, which offers a variety of glasses - from martini to pints - customized for us with an outline of the island. Alongside the Rolf Glass "School of Fish" collection, we've got you covered.
Now you know where to get your crystal, we're happy to throw in a little recipe. Who doesn't enjoy a little cocktail inspiration from time to time? Simple and easy to make, this fizzy libation can be served directly over ice, or lightly stirred in a shaker and strained into a glass.
Rain on the Vineyard
1.5 ounces of St. Germain's Elderflower Liqueur
2 ounces of and effervescent White Wine or Champagne
Club soda, chilled
Handful of blueberries
Muddle a few blueberries with St. Germain in the bottom of a rocks glass or shaker. If you are using the shaker, add ice, and champagne, otherwise simply add liquid and ice to your glass. Stir gently. Pour contents of shaker into a martini glass. Top with chilled club soda and a few intact blueberries for a fresh garnish. Enjoy!
If you're looking for more recipes, don't leave the shop without one of our handy drinks books. Homemade Liqueurs, Infused Spirits by Andrew Schloss and Sangria: Fun and Festive Recipes by Mittie Hellmich are two of our favorites.
We also hope you check out Little Bites by Christine Chitnis & Sarah Waldman. This cookbook is far from cocktail recipes, but chock full of awesome, family friendly snacks and nibbles. We are particularly proud as Sarah Waldman is a year round islander, whose recipes and adventures you can follow at SarahWaldman.com!
You might not notice Skeem the moment you step into our shop. Their unique candles, matches, and perfumes live in the back of our store with many of the rest of our beauty products. Skeem prides itself as a brand with a unique aesthetic grounded in a solid product. But, these guys give more than a pretty package.
Skeem was started by husband and wife team Geoff Weiser and Suji Meswani ten years ago. The two ditched the corporate world to work together and capitalize on their backgrounds in graphic design and product development. Their goal was not only to create a beautiful package, but also eliminate the waste that often comes with pre-packaged candle products.
Each of these hand poured, small batch, soy candles, leaves behind it a reusable vessel.
The Half Pint candle collection that we carry, alongside their colorful matchstick bottles and array of flower inspired perfumes, has a 50 hour burn life and a gorgeous metal snuffer lid. Once you have burned through 50 hours, the container left behind is perfect for storing hair pins, paper clips, or any other variety of kitchen, desk, or night stand essentials. (Not to mention the great lingering scent!)
So, next time you are visiting our shop, check out our Skeem line! Stock your house with matches that beg to be shown off, candles that burn long and bright, and perfumes to fill your favorite hip new clutch!
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.