Shop Talk : What's new in Nevin Square on Martha's Vineyard
Photo by Katryn Yerdon
Nevin Square, a quaint shopping area off Winter Street in Edgartown, has seen its share of changes over the years. They now seem to be hitting their stride with three new stores and one new art studio, which joins such staples as Vineyard Vines, Outrageous Home & Clothing, and Alex & Ani, just to name a few.
One of the newest stores to join Nevin Square is Kissmet, a Turkish-inspired store that offers everything from handmade ceramics to furniture, rugs and Kilim (tapestry woven) bags to home décor. They also carry a unique line of women's boots which, according to Kissmets' owner Recep Dinli, are "made of old kaftans [lavishly decorated robes], with the inside and bottom of the boots being made out of leather. Women tell me constantly that the weight of the boot is like wearing a pair of socks as they are so light."
Another bright line available in Mr. Dinli's store is the remarkable line of Armenian mosaic glass chandelier lights in various sizes, all of which are housed in brass settings and handmade so no two are exactly alike.
Kissmet, a family business, got its name from "Kismet," Turkish for "fate" or "destiny." A friend of Mr. Dinli's suggested they add the additional "s" and the signature pair of red lips on their sign to denote their whimsy. Mr. Dinli is the oldest of three brothers who, back in Turkey, work together to make almost all of the merchandise available in the store. While he is here with his son, he expects his wife and other children to arrive soon. His brothers are back in Istanbul making their wares for this store along with their other locations, in Tokyo and Europe.
To say that Mr. Dinli is hospitable, charming, and knowledgeable about Turkish history just doesn't seem to do him justice. When you visit Kissmet, you will find the genial Mr. Dinli ready, willing, and able to make your time there more like an experience than a shopping expedition.
If you speak with him (he is there every day from opening at 9 am to closing, which is sometime after the dinner hour) for more than a greeting, you will find a piping hot glass of tea in your hand along with a proffered nibble of Turkish Delight in the next moment. All of this is a sign of his heritage and its respect for hospitality.
Mr. Dinli may share with you his favorite Turkish saying, "The road to paradise is paved under the feet of mothers," the nod to the importance of women in the culture, or a bit about the history that is emblazoned on many of their ceramics and clothing. You may even learn about why the tea is proffered, how to properly receive and drink it. For fear of giving away more of Kissmet's unique attributes, I suggest you stop in. Just make sure you leave some time to chat and explore.
Next-door, PIKNIK Art & Apparel has opened a second location. Now you have twice the opportunity to shop at this special mix of old and new. Whether you want a new Morgan Grey bag, a Pendleton blanket, a pair of men's shoes, or a Paul Norwood painting, both this location and their original one in the Oak Bluffs Arts District can help bring some beauty into your life.
If art is your fancy, you will be thrilled to know that inspirational photographer Heidi White of mytrueblue has opened a small gallery as well. Her work, according to her website, mytruebluevision.com, "is meant to evoke feelings of inspiration and is perfect in settings where the viewer has time to stop and absorb their strength & vibrance." Stop by the store or visit her website to view her emotive work.
Another fun and exciting shop that begs for some extra time to chat with the owners is the new Huckleberry Pink, a bath, body, and treats store. The most unique aspect of this brightly colored, fun, and enticing store is the owners and their story of how they came to be.
The two mothers, Gwyneth Wallace and Tanya Patnaude, have 11 children between them (ages range from 4 to 20). Both reside on Huckleberry Hill Road (though that's not how the store got its name) and share a love of all things bath. Curious about their story and creative store name? You will have to visit them in person or on the web at huckleberrypink.com to find out more.
Not surprisingly, many of the products that they carry revolve around their kids. Several selections for kids through young adults bear the name of the child that helped design the product, including its scent and/or, in some cases, its ingredients. Visibly encased in some of the soaps you will find items from toy snakes to rubber bracelets, anything to help bring the fun back to bath time.
Young ladies and adults might enjoy some of the scented lotions or lip glosses available, all of which have been researched, tested (though only on the kids, not animals, according to the website), designed and made by the Island mothers who are the exceptional owners of this very special shop.