We are happy to announce that, effective today June 9, we are no longer requiring masks in our buildings. Our decision is based on the current infection rate in our area, the current percentage of vaccinations in New Hampshire, and this week’s decisions in the neighboring communities of Durham, Newmarket & Portsmouth. Our staff is vaccinated but we do recognize that not all of our customers are, so we will continue to have masks available in our shop for anyone who needs one. Again, we want to thank you all for your patience & support. We look forward to seeing your smiling faces!
This week marks one year since we closed our shop. Our self-imposed quarantine began on March 17 after Don & our daughter Billie returned from a long weekend in Memphis getting Billie acclimated for her upcoming 2 years working as a first grade teacher at the Memphis School of Excellence. We had no idea what Billie & Don’s exposure might have been so we felt compelled to close the shop for two weeks to be sure we were all healthy. Shortly after we closed, the Governor closed everything.
We were closed for two months. We spent that time ramping up our online sales and working on projects that can only be done when your shop is empty (rearranging, deep cleaning, painting, landscaping). We reopened in May with low expectations. But you all came back to shop.
You’ve been home doing your own projects and have been coming to us for pieces to use in your new spaces; you’ve been home listening to music and coming to us to add to your vinyl collections; you’ve been bored because travel & entertainment options have been limited so you’re visiting the places that have been able to stay open; you’ve been worried about visiting places that are too crowded and our shop feels like a safe space to go.
Whatever your reason, we want to send our thanks to all of you. It finally feels like we are turning the corner on Covid but we will never forget your support. So we are sending our love & gratitude to all of our regular and new customers. We look forward to ditching the masks so that you can see the smiles you’ve put on our faces! To all, one love.
As most of our regular customers know, I just spent ten days moving my daughter to Memphis, TN (Billie was accepted into the Teach for America program and will spend the next two years teaching first grade Memphis). With the help of two dear friends, we rented a U-Haul trailer, hitched it to my van, and loaded both with an apartment’s worth of furnishings. We broke the trip into 3 parts–3 days to drive down; 4 days to get Billie settled, see some sights, and do some antiquing; and 3 days to drive home (which turned into 2 days for various reasons).
I bought lots of interesting stuff for the shop including garden antiques, vintage clothing, 2 iron baker’s racks, a mid-century modern yellow damask sofa & matching love seat (both still in original plastic covers), lighting, and lots of cool smalls. In terms of pricing, I visited six shops–three were too pricey to buy for resale but the picking was really good in the others. The dealers and shopkeepers were very kind and helpful. (One shopkeeper actually helped me unload & repack my U-Haul. I guess that’s what they mean by “southern hospitality!”)
Aside from antiquing, we got Billie settled into her apartment ( a very cute spot in the Midtown section of Memphis), did some grocery shopping, and still managed to squeeze in some sightseeing. We visited the Memphis Zoo (pandas!), Beale Street, and Graceland (I had to see the MCM decor). But the most memorable spot was the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum tells the story of the American Civil Rights Movement with artifacts, films, and interactive exhibitions. The walk thru the museum ends when visitors stand between the MLK’s Lorraine Motel bedroom & living room looking out at the spot on the balcony where he died. As overwhelming as the museum is, I was more overwhelmed by my own ignorance. As with most things, the more you learn, the more you realize how much you still need to learn.
Billie will be in Memphis for at least two years so I know that I will visit again. I will definitely hunt down more antiques for the shop, visit the pandas, and hang out in a Beale Street bar. But most importantly, I will go back to the National Civil Rights Museum because “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” MLK
Today was the first time I’ve ever thrown anyone out of our shop. This man was a white man about my age (mid 50s) who came in to buy records. I wasn’t in the shop when he arrived but Shannon told me that there was a man in the record room who wasn’t wearing a mask. As I headed back to speak to him, he was heading toward me. I said “Sir, you need to wear your mask in the building.” He pushed by me as he pulled his mask/neck warmer up over his face. He walked by Shannon on his way to the front desk and, after he passed her, she whispered to me, “He’s wearing Trump 2020 mask.” Despite the fact that Don was at the front desk, I was compelled to follow him. As he stopped to pay for his records, he turned and looked at me. All I could see was “Trump 2020” under a middle aged white man’s eyes. I said (tongue-in-cheek), “You’ll get a better deal in here with a different mask on.” Then he went off. At this point, I remember him yelling “your business wouldn’t be open without Trump” followed by “if this Black Lives Matter shit comes up here, you’ll go out of business” followed by something about Hillary Clinton going to prison.
I’m usually pretty composed and almost always polite, but not today. I heard myself say, “Get the fuck out of my shop and don’t ever come back here.” He continued to yell at me as he walked out, so I followed and repeated my “get the fuck out” instructions followed by “keep your mask on, asshole!” Then I walked back into the shop and out the back door to cry. Why cry? Because this is our safe space. This is our little corner of the world. This is our home. And the racism, misogyny, homophobia, and ignorance that has crawled out from under its rock has now made its way into our shop. This is profoundly sad for me.
But after thinking about this interaction, I realized several things.
- I am sad but I am not afraid.
- This is not about about one man. This is about deep, deep issues that are floating to the top of our culture for many reasons.
- We can & should do better. Self-assess, reflect, learn. Do better. Be better.
- The most important thing to us is our customers. And that means providing all people–Black, Latinx, queer, trans, and any other marginalized community –with a space filled with “peace, love, and understanding.”
- We can and will maintain a safe, inclusive space by looking hatred in the eyes and telling it to get the fuck out.
It’s been one month since we reopened and we want to thank you all for coming back to shop with us. We are especially appreciative of everyone’s willingness to wear masks and maintain social distancing. This is our home environment so, in addition to protecting our customers, we are also focused on protecting ourselves so that we can stay open throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. We continue to be open daily and we continue our quest to bring you the funkiest, grooviest, coolest stuff we can find! So we soldier on, masks in place, and we send you all our love & gratitude! Colleen & Don
Hi Friends! In an effort to do our part to “flatten the curve,” we have decided to close the shop for at least two weeks. We will be using this time to set up our garden inventory, bring in new inventory, do some rearranging–all of the things that are hard to do when you’re open 7 days a week!
Please know that if you have something on hold or are hoping to come by for a particular item, just call or stop in and we will be glad to help!
Again, we will be here working–we’re just trying to do our part! Thank you all so much for your support! Stay healthy, wash your hands, and we’ll see you on the other side! Much love.
If you follow our Facebook and Instagram pages, you probably already know that we worked with the set designers of the new film “Little Women” as they set up shoots in various locations in Massachusetts. Over the course of many visits (and even more texts), we selected an array of furniture and props to help designers complete the movie’s Victorian aesthetic. In the world of antiques & design, the Victorian aesthetic has fallen out of trend, but this movie may bring the era back into favor. Little Women designers gave “Formal Victorian” a bohemian twist by layering the sets with textiles, natural elements, and vibrant colors that give the sets a loose, casual, comfortable feeling while staying true to the period.
I saw the film with my daughter who is currently a senior at Barnard College (just 14 years behind Director Greta Gerwig). One of our favorite scenes is the porch dance scene with Jo and Laurie. If you look carefully, you’ll see a set of black Victorian wireware “peacock” furniture that designers rented from us. (The wireware bench is currently in use in the shop as a rack for vintage jeans.) We saw many pieces that came from our shop–quilts, clothing, lighting, furniture, baskets, and unique pieces like an antique book press and a chalkware owl. It was a real privilege to make a small contribution to an enormously important story. But the best part of the film, for those of us who loved the book when we were young, is being reminded of the power of girls.
It’s always fun (and surprising) to read about ourselves! The current issue of New Hampshire Home magazine features the recent renovation of an antique Kittery, Maine home and we are happy to be included in the article. The owner, Deb Coffin, and her designer, Annie Ballin, spent many afternoons in the shop picking out accessories for the final touches for this beautiful home. Their taste is always eclectic and open-minded. They gravitate to pieces based on color story & vibe rather than to pieces that would typically be found in a house of this style & age. In addition to an amazing sense of style, these ladies also share an amazing sense of humor!
So thank you to Deb & Annie & NH Home Magazine for including us! Hope to see you soon.