Sunday, December 12, 2010

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,

and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha
In the spirit of sharing, which the holiday season is all about, I am lighting a candle for a co-op in Cape May, NJ, The West End Garage.
My shop is north of Cape May...about 15 miles...but you know when I find a neat place, I will feature it Bittersweet Farm, Etc in Salem, NJ, or even Anthropologie. Many in retail are not into sharing...I believe small shops in particular need to hold on to each other in these times when Walmarts, Targets, and TJs are constantly taking aim.

We took a night off from auction to go to Cape May for a Holiday Art Extravaganza in the ballroom at the Wilbraham Mansion. I believe it is important to support the American artisan in these days when Made in China is so prevalent.

There were wonderful treasures...I got a new hat, a wonderful necklace, and a neat print reproduced on a card.
When we came out, we looked across the street and saw a shop all lit up.
Not one to pass up a shop, we wandered over, and here was the home, The West End Garage, for these artisans who were a part of the extravaganza. In the front of the shop are the artists' booths...

Then, as you wander through the rest of this converted building (a former car dealer & garage), small booths mix old and new treasures.

How about picking a vintage outfit off the rack for that holiday party?

Or, some old ornaments for your tree?

How about a unique piece of furniture - real wood - not pressed sawdust!
Some of the accessories have been replaced...but handles that were grabbed for decades do wear out. The purists when it comes to vintage may not appreciate the piece where some care has been taken to restore it, but, in my mind, that is what this business is all something a chance to live again. Would we be so lucky to be renewed for another 100+ years!

I think these kinds of places and events are what the season of giving should be all about. Not the madness of a "black" Friday or camping out all night-or week-for a piece of electronic equipment. Just strolling about and when something catches your eye, it invokes a reason for the season. I found a neat scarf for my best friend who is politically wired will be neatly tucked into her Christmas box...a wonderful last minute was karma that I did not have the box ready to mail! Here are the scenes from the little shops within the West End...far more appealing than stuff on metal shelves and end caps!

So, wherever you live, maybe you could search out that little shop
...or take a drive to town instead of to the mall.
You can still go to the big box or the mall, but for a touch of the spirit of Christmas past try lighting a small candle for that little shop down the road or in town.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sue, What a neat shop. I can't believe that Dorth and I missed it in October - we were wandering all over down there. Have a wonderful holiday! Love you, Barb