Shop Talk

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Fall is here, and it is certainly a colorful time of year. Taking a casual walk down Main Street in Vineyard Haven last week, I was struck at the kaleidoscope of fall colors emanating from the storefronts. It is a nice time to head out for a little sunshine and crisp air, and maybe you can find a perfect fall-colored something for yourself or your home. Here is a sampling of options I found.

At Citrine, a bead and women’s clothing store, fall is in the air with their Ozone over-the-knee socks, a Belgo Lux Belt, or a Pickastitch wrap scarf, along with a host of footwear and beads.

Island Fashion, a women’s clothing and accessory store located in the plaza by Bob’s Pizza, has exceptional coordinating bra and panty sets, tall leather boots, jackets, and even fall-ish bathing suits for that warm-weather vacation.

Nochi, a store that offers everything from fresh flowers to home décor and clothing, embodies the natural neutral colors found in nature. With many soft shades of brown and beige, you may be pleased with this season’s shades in such special items as Re-set Italian sweaters, elbow length fingerless gloves, and Prairie Underground sweat jackets (they are too stylish to call them sweatshirts in my humble opinion).

As you walk in to the Beach House, you immediately smell the outdoors via the sweet scents of fall emanating from the candles and soaps. Hues of nature can be found in the Green Tea Energizing body wash and lotion by NECTAR, along with the seasonal paper products for those pleasant holiday guests. You could also splurge on a cooking apron or linen napkins to complete your hostess/host duties. You could also go over the top by adding in some indestructible Le Deaux poly carb glasses, and their autumn-themed dishes and hand towels have just arrived.

Bespoke Abode, a home furnishings and accessories boutique that offers an expanded line of its very own Martha’s Vineyard Furniture Company pieces, encourages you to find the pieces that are perfect for you. If you are one who loves the bright oranges to the shades of brown denoted by the changing of the trees, then you are in the right place. Their line of pendant lights will give you atmospheric light, while their colorful poof ottoman is on sale, and their M.V. Furniture Company’s original designed Zip Code Pillows let people pick their favorite town. The carpets and so much more can be customized to be partnered with their interior design company, Martha’s Vineyard Interiors.

Mix, a store that sells both new and vintage items, is located on the corner of Main and Union streets. Leave plenty of time to browse when you enter this treasure of a store. In my perusal, I found the season’s hues in their beaded colored belts by About Color that had unique wooden clasps, along with American Southside Alpaca sweaters, Salaam shirts that are made in the U.S., and Baggallini bags that would look great with the Grace woven hats.

Also on this corner is Two Susan’s, a smart gift shop that stocks items for your garden to your table and everyplace in between. Here it was tough to pick just a few samples of the season because it is filled with so many appropriate wonders. Most appropriate goes to Leaf Leather Bags that have a black leather base and a brown overlay with leaves etched into it. Next to these bags are Spartina bags, and hanging above them was Jungle Bird Wind chimes that just might be mistaken for an actual bird. If you enjoy a terrific smelling home, the San Miguel Teakwood diffuser can assist with that task.

Finally, Off Main, a gift store that is known for books, nautical items, selections for children, and knickknacks for the home, has an all-time favorite selection of lighted floral bunches that will brighten any space. Their current selection is very earthy in hue and available in a broad style of flowers. The bamboo all-occasion Veneerware provides a feel-good solution for the need for disposable dishes and flatware, while Jennifer Thames original earrings will have all the ladies wondering where you got them.

Whatever your reason, head out and enjoy the kaleidoscope of fall colors in the foliage and in shops. As this was just a small sampling of what is available in Vineyard Haven in my favorite seasonal hues, you are encouraged to visit us at mvtimes.com and comment on the column with some of your favorites.

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Halloween is upon us and if you need help with preparation, here are some ideas for saving time and costs.

The almighty decorated pumpkin is a must for any Halloween home, though preparing and carving your pumpkin can be a big time consumer. Possibly the easiest, yet most festive way to decorate your pumpkin could be the cartoon-themed inserts ($6.99 per set) sold at the Stop & Shop Pharmacy.

The choices range from Mickey Mouse to Pooh, and are dressed in Halloween costumes. The simple five pieces of inserts include the head, arms, and feet that will transform your pumpkin in less than a minute from plain to fun. Another plus is that the stakes are not sharp, so kids can decorate their own pumpkins, and they will last a lot longer than those that get carved.

For lighting up your festive area, think paper lanterns that you can decorate yourself with a marker. Shades of white, orange, and black can be found at Rainy Day in Vineyard Haven for as little as $9, and they are easy to plug in. Rosebuds on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs also carries lanterns, but they might pale in comparison to the store’s enormous selection of wonderful Halloween supplies from the latest in costumes to household decorations and party supplies.

Preparing for trick or treaters? If you are using your front hallway to great your costumed neighbors, dress up your furniture with old white sheets, some twigs from the yard, and some cheesecloth from your kitchen. Covering all available furniture with the sheets and using the twigs as spooky accents along with cheesecloth spread over mirrors and pictures can turn your welcome area into a spooky lair. If you don’t have old sheets laying around, try finding some at our area thrift stores, like the Boys & Girls Club Second Hand Store in Edgartown or the Community Services Thrift Shop on Chicken Alley in Vineyard Haven. While there, wander a bit: you might be inspired with some more options for decorations or possible costumes for the whole family.

Finally, how about dressing the house up with some Mad Scientist jars? This is a great, quick, inexpensive project for the whole family. Here is the how-to on making these spooky treasures, compliments of DIYnetwork.com.

Materials:

Glass jars

Black spray paint

Wax metallic finishes or grayish glitter paint (optional)

Plastic toys: bugs, rodents, and doll heads look best

Water

Food coloring

Measuring cup

Sir stick

Tags or paper to make your own

Ink pad(optional)

Twine or string

Scissors

Directions

Wash the jars and lids thoroughly. Spraypaint the lids and once dry apply the wax metallic finishes, or some grayish glitter paint to them for an aged look. Fill a measuring cup with water. Add a drop of food coloring and stir. Add more food coloring or more water to get the intensity of color that you want. Place a toy or knickknack into the jar with water. Screw lid on tightly. Using the tags, write out a label for each jar. To antique the tags, gently pat or rub them on an ink pad. Tie the labels onto the jars with twine.

To highlight them, place the made jars in an area that is darker and backlight the jars with tea lights or the flameless version to give them an even eerier look. Also, for the smaller scary items, you could add some gelatin to the water and as it begins to thicken, push in your items, such as plastic spiders, in so that they appear to float in the middle of the jar.

Should you not have the materials on hand, you may find all your items at several places on the Island. Some suggestions: in Edgartown, Granite Ace Hardware; in Oak Bluffs the adjacent duo of Phillips Hardware and Rosebud’s will have what you need; in Vineyard Haven, Shirley’s has everything for your home needs, as well as being Halloween Central with a large selection of decorations to costumes and accessories relating to Halloween.

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Kayaks are on sale now at Winds Up in Vineyard Haven. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

Now is the time when many Island stores offer deep discounts on their wares to help clear out space for next season’s arrivals.

Do you have a winter getaway planned? Perhaps to a sunny, warm spot? Your summer wardrobe probably took some wear and tear, so why not give it an infusion of new outfits perfect for your winter vacation? Visiting clothing stores that specialize in summer or resort wear will be your best bet. Such examples include The Collection on the corner of Union and Main streets in Vineyard Haven, which has a colorful array of resort wear and fashion-forward sandals, along with accessories to match.

Eastaway Clothing on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs also carries a variety of lightweight, stylish clothing for both men and women. The selection ranges from swimsuits to dresses and baha shirts for men, along with shoes and accessories for all occasions.

If you are a lady looking for something funky and fresh, Megan’s across from The Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs has something for you. From dresses to jewelry, scarves to hairpieces, everything has its own unique vibe.

Then there is Vineyard Vines, preppy trend setters for resort and casual wear and well-known for styles including signature silk ties for men. Found in both Edgartown on Winter Street and on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, they make it easy to shop for sales along with the newest fashions for the peak of perfection on your trip.

And Pandora’s Box in Chilmark (Menemsha) announces its annual half-off everything sale that started Wednesday, Oct. 3 and runs through Monday, Oct. 8, 11 am to 6 pm.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of our numerous, exceptional stores that offer wonderful clothing selections and sales to boot.

The holidays aren’t that far off, and gift giving seems to never end. Those who live off Island but love to come and visit sometime each year always seem to enjoy an item that is emblazoned with Martha’s Vineyard or is from an icon connected to the Island itself. With our numerous tee-shirt and souvenir stores, most with some amazing sales currently going on, it’s easy to fill your shopping bag with some of their goodies.

Such examples include Shirt Tales, Soft as a Grape, Ocean T-shirts, the Black Dog stores, Menemsha Blues, Beetlebung Clothing, and the Island Grown Initiative shirts available at Cronig’s among other stores.

New Years Resolutions could also be your stimulation for shopping the current sales: why wait ’til New Years to begin your resolution. An example is a frequent choice of living a more active lifestyle. Think about it, you are choosing to start being more active when it is the coldest outside. Why not start now by taking up a water sport that you can stay dry in this autumnal weather while getting in an enjoyable workout and seeing the Island at its colorful best. Kayaking could fit that bill and with Winds Up’s current sale on kayaks, paddleboards, accessories, and so much more, it could be a perfect fit for you. They are located on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven; for their most current hours call them directly at 508-693-4252.

Sales don’t last forever, nor does inventory. So the next time you see a sale sign, stop in to see how you might benefit. Happy shopping!

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Kissmet on Winter Street in Edgartown offers an exclusive twist for wedding gifts. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The fall wedding season is in full swing, with another month to go. If you have been invited to a wedding, but have been dragging your heels about a gift, here is a chance to be inspired.

If you want to give something more personal than cash or a registry gift, go for it — or combine one of their requested items with one picked by you. Should the bride and groom ask for a specific coffee maker, for instance, you could add some colorful coffee mugs from Chilmark Pottery, on State Road in West Tisbury. Depending on your budget, adding a creamer and sugar bowl could be a plus as well. Perhaps adding a colorful and warm blanket from Allen Farm or Island Alpaca would be appreciated when buying the set of sheets nominated on the registry. Should the newlyweds ask for decorative candle holders, which you may find at several stores around the Island, why not add some colorful linen napkins in the wedding colors or in shades matching the soon-to-be-newlyweds’ home. Colorful linens are easy to find on Island at one of our great home goods stores, along with such specialty shops as such as The Beach House or Juliska, both found on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, just across the street from each other. Speaking of candles, adding a Vineyard-scented candle to any gift would be a welcome way to encourage some additional romance for the lovebirds.

Unique and special gifts found on the Island number in the thousands for options, so you can’t miss in any of our amazing shops. Newlyweds will surely appreciate whatever you choose, whether they live here year-round or just come to visit while making special memories. How about matching heart glasses that work wonderfully as wine glasses, with the bottom color matching their wedding color, or perhaps choosing one of their decorative pieces in a fall design.

To commemorate a fall wedding, a colorful glass pumpkin or an apple will bring back fond memories every year it is brought out for display. Luckily they come in many different colors should you want to match the bridal color scheme, and given enough time M. V. Glassworks will work with you on a special commission for many shapes including a lovely vase that could be etched with the wedding date. For more ideas and information, visit them at their studio on State Road in West Tisbury or call them at 508-693-6026.

If you notice a trend in the registry for entertainment serve-ware or mood lighting, Kissmet on Winter Street in Edgartown offers an exclusive twist for wedding gifts. Their distinctive, colorful, handmade Turkish platters and serving dishes are remarkable, while a tea lover would enjoy their traditional small tea trays. A unique serving tray might just be the one that is in the shape of a star, but can be converted from one serving dish (with many separate areas) into 10 smaller serving dishes that would be a wonderful addition to any hostess’s cupboard. Also in Kissmet, you will find beautiful Turkish lamps, in various colors, styles, and sizes. Your only lighting limit will be how to choose just one or two, versus the whole array.

For those looking for a more traditional, or timeless gift, both Past & Presents on Main Street in Edgartown or Timeless Treasures on Main Street in Vineyard Haven could be your final stop. Past & Presents, which hosts many Island wedding registries, helps the shopper find the unique possibility of an antique heirloom from the Island or abroad, or something new. Known for their twin shops – that’s right, one shop just wasn’t big enough for their amazing selections – that boast everything from pewter candle centerpieces to large, ornate furniture, with lamps to complete the look, you will be hard pressed not to find the perfect gift for those most important to you.

Timeless Treasures, on the other hand, carries a unique selection of home goods right next to their array of women’s clothing and accessories. Any one of their special home goods pieces, from fine dining ware to coffee mugs, will bring a smile to whomever receives the gift.

When making a wedding gift, remember to have fun, choose with your heart, and keep in mind the wonderful recipients.

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Fall officially arrives this Saturday, Sept. 22. This week, I asked local businesses about the latest trends in fall fashion.

Kara Dougherty-Merry, owner of Pandora’s Box in Menemsha and Suka in Edgartown, has been having success with, “The classic yummy sweater, which seems to be a fall transition piece that many choose to go with in a cardigan, oversized style. There is also a lot of lace detail, print on print or mixing of prints, as well as sheer keeps coming up for summer and fall,” she explained. “With the mixing of prints, it seems that people love it, as they are able to adapt to their own unique style versus a cookie cutter look. Pea coats are always popular with my customers, and the new retro motorcycle jackets have been garnering rave reviews. Finally, the color gold has been showing up frequently, sometimes paired with black or in a sheer piece. Personally I am a big fan of summer colors into winter fabrics, which I always look to have that in the store and people consistently respond positively to the combination.”

Pandora’s Box is open Thursday through Monday through Columbus Day and there are some sales going on currently through the remainder of the season.

Roni Hennessy, owner of Petunia’s Shoes on Main Street in Edgartown, shared: “As far as showing the transition from flip flops, which people are still in, to a closed toe shoe, the smoking shoe or slipper has been a very popular purchase for the last few weeks. The pony, animal prints, and the velvet styles have done phenomenally well. What draw customers to the shoe is its nice compromise of not being super pointy or super rounded and that it has an elongated foot bed with a lot of coverage. Looking toward boots, the short ankle boot with buckle or trim will be trending well and as always the ballet flat is still going strong. For those heading to warmer climates or on vacation, we are also having a 50 percent off sale on our summer shoe selection.”

Sherryl Schrader, co-owner of Moonstone Jewelers on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, remarked on jewelry trends: “We find that fine jewelry never goes out of style. New and exciting for those Islanders who have been so busy working all summer is Julie Miguel’s seasonal additions to her carved and inlaid banded bracelet line, Wampum by Julie. Another change in style is the fact that due to the increase in gold prices, designers have been working in silver instead which has allowed them to go bigger and bolder with their pieces, which our customers are loving.”

When shopping for clothing, a handy guide from Glamour Magazine online will remind you of the anticipated trends:

“Crimson is the it color, whether as the base or the accessory. Suits are trending to a mix of solid pieces in black and white. Burgundy for your PVC raincoat, while sweaters are warm and cozy with styles ranging from plain to graphic or fitted to oversized. Collars on clothing are in, just with a contrasting color from the rest of the shirt or dress. White is no longer for just summer as it has taken over for the LBD [little black dress] with an addition of a skinny black belt for contrast.

“Head warmth this fall can be found with a wide brimmed hat that provides an air of mystery. Prints for dresses are in with either a black and white scape or a bohemian, flowing style. Finally a gray dress, this year the shade is slate, will be a welcome addition that can carry through many years to come.”

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A variety of knives available at LeRoux Kitchen in Vineyard Haven. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

Since some of us already spend more than enough time in the kitchen on a daily basis without having to give up more of our precious time due to inadequate kitchen utensils. We can attempt to fix that by properly equipping our kitchens along with maintaining our utensils, which can sometimes mean the difference of several hours each week.

One of the biggest time stealers can be your chosen knives and their maintenance. A sharp knife is an effective knife and can greatly reduce time spent in the kitchen if you avoid the common mistake of using a dull knife. While using home sharpeners or a honing steel (a way to remove small food particles on your blade just before or after use and can be done on a daily basis) might help to maintain your knives edges, a visit to a professional sharpener up to twice a year is recommended.

LeRoux Kitchen on Main Street in Vineyard Haven sharpens knives with its professional sharpener. You just drop off your knives and they will call you when they are ready for pickup. This service has gotten so popular they are now upgrading their sharpener to a larger, more commercial version to be able to better service the Island.

While at LeRoux, you can spend some time looking over their extremely large selection of professional knives from the traditional J.A. Henckels to the ultra modern Shun lines. As to which style you choose, it will depends on your skill, the task at hand, how much you want to spend for a higher quality steel that will keep a sharper edge, and what feels most comfortable in your hand.

The staff at LeRoux is very knowledgeable and will to take the time to help you choose your perfect tool. Chris Brooks, the LeRoux associate with many years of knife knowledge under his belt, suggests “Maintaining your sharp knife requires extra care that includes using a knife block or wall mount, versus placing them unprotected in a drawer, and making sure that you hand wash them immediately with soapy water versus using placing them in a dishwasher where the edge can be banged around and the handle loosened, along with the fact that the detergent can etch the blade.”

Other time saving kitchen utensils are small choppers and larger food processors. In fact, a food processor is the exact tool Chef Antonio Saccoccia of The Grill on Main restaurant in Edgartown can’t live without. “While obviously my French knife is my most important tool, the food processor comes in as the most used, well rounded tool in my kitchen as it saves myself and my staff a lot of valuable time,” he says. “I use my processor daily for emulsifications, bread doughs, salad dressings, chopping and piecrusts.”

Other time saving tips include having a large sauté pan that can handle small and large amounts without having you struggle to fit the food in the pan when turning it. Having an all metal sauté pan allows you the option to sear your food on the stove then slide it in the oven to finish cooking, resulting in less clean up. Having a selection of glass mason jars on hand can cut down on preparation time as items such as salad dressings can be mixed, stored, and reused in them, as well as used for leftovers that can be opened and reheated (minus the metal lid) in the microwave. They are also a great way to store the remainder of your summer garden to enjoy this winter.

Whatever your choices to ease your time in the kitchen, always think efficiency, multipurpose and ease of use. For your upgrades, visit such Island greats as LeRoux Kitchen or any of our hardware stores including Shirley’s, Granite, Hinckley’s, Phillips, and Edgartown Hardware.

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The interior of Beadniks. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

In an era of immediate gratification, we can sometimes lose sight of the enjoyment obtained from making something unique with our own hands. The time invested can provide years to a lifetime of enjoyment in knowing that you had a hand in the design of a special treasure. Such is the case when you visit the original Beadniks store on Church Street in Vineyard Haven.

Beadniks, a bead emporium that encourages creativity, is the brainchild of founder Sally Roelser and harkens to a time when beads carried immense value. Here you will find a plethora of beads and jewels, ranging from simple to ornate, rare and original.

Accompanying the hand-picked specialty beads found in such faraway places as Java, Nepal, and Bali, or close to home selections that include wampum, you will find all the tools and accessories needed to work with beads. If you have never attempted to bead before, fret not, as the staff is well trained in the art of beading and is on hand to help or even organize a group for learning the art. Classes are also offered; just call in advance to learn when the next one is: 508-693-7650.

With the busy September wedding season arriving next month, it is not too late to host your own bridal party event right at the store or at a location of your choice. What a great way to provide your bridal party with jewelry for the trip down the aisle. You may pick out in advance the beads to be used for earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, or you can let your bridal party wander the store to pick their favorites. Whatever you choose, it will be a memory to cherish for all times, with a gleaming reminder in the colorful art made that day.

For more information on hosting your own party, call them directly at the store. Keep in mind this is also a great idea for a birthday party for every girl ages eight and up, or if you are in the mood for a girl’s night out, maybe you can bond while beading.

Another reason to head in now to Beadniks is in preparation for the coming holiday season. Rather than going out and trying to find the perfect piece of jewelry for a special gift, why not make your own? Here you can account for people’s favorite colors, favorite metals, personality, and style, all in one gift. The meaning will be clear and even more appreciated with the knowledge that you not only picked each bead, but also created something, even something as simple as a wine glass charm.

With the holiday season come parties, and who hasn’t lost a wine glass or, worse, drunk from the wrong one? Why not make your own original glass charms to ensure you’re drinking from the right glass? If you are the hostess, you could offer to have your guests take them home as a gift. Another option for that fun-loving group you surround yourself with is to pre-select some beads with separate tags to leave out for your guests to make their own.

Beadniks is open seven days a week from 10 am to 6 pm. 508-693-7650; beadniks.com.

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Antiquing, a popular pastime, has been experiencing a resurgence recently, possibly due to the numerous TV shows dedicated to the hobby. The hunt for the perfect antique can be found in many Martha’s Vineyard shops.

To talk about antiques, I thought, who better to turn to then one of, if not the, oldest seasonal antique shop on the Island, Over South Antiques. Located on Basin Road in Menemsha and nestled between Pandora’s Box and Copperworks of Martha’s Vineyard, owner/operator Jane Slater has been opening up Monday through Saturday for the last 38 seasons. With so much history, you can imagine the special items you might find in her shop.

The Over South store was born due to the necessity of more space after gaining popularity during the 10 years Ms. Slater had operated at the local flea market prior to its inception. Ms. Slater, who turned 80 this past February, has not missed a summer season since she opened and apparently will not in the foreseeable future. “I don’t want to quit,” she says. “I am an Aquarian and we love antiques.”

When asked what she most enjoyed about antiquing, her quick answer might surprise you. “The people that I meet and the research. It is a quest, the search for a particular piece that I enjoy most. Finding things isn’t always easy and when I finally achieve my goal I love that item, for about 20 minutes. Then I am ready to sell the rare and unusual item while beginning my next search.”

Eager to share some antiquing tips for those jumping in for the first time, Ms. Slater cautions, “Read all the books you can about the subject. Turn over every plate or piece, as it is the only way you can learn. You must be able to feel it, then read it and finally do your research on what it is you are looking at.”

You can get in touch with Ms. Slater Monday through Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm by calling 508-645-3378.

While many stores carry a variety of unique antiques, items gleaned from Island estates, and a sprinkling of brand-new items to help round out their stock, some other shops strictly sell items 100 years and older. Keep in mind that if you are looking to build up a collection that will increase in value as the years pass, you might want to look at some collectibles as well. A collectible is an item that while older, has not reached the 100-year milestone, yet has a perceived value likely to increase as more time passes.

The best way to find antiques on the Island is to leave yourself plenty of time to drive around. First, you might want to stop at some of the larger, well-known antique dealers: Past & Presents in Edgartown, Pyewacket’s in Vineyard Haven, The Red Barn or Bea’s Fabric Shop & Antiques both in West Tisbury, Tuckernuck Antiques or New Moon Magick both in Oak Bluffs, just to name a few of the many wonderful shops that carry a much coveted antique selection. Make sure as you move around the Island, that you keep your eyes peeled, as there are many smaller shops distinguished by the antique sign out front, including in front of some homes. Happy hunting.

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Laura Cron and her husband Brent bought Macdonald's Rugs and Carpets in 1981. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

If you are looking for new floor coverings, the family-owned and -operated Macdonald’s Rugs & Carpets at 455 State Road in Vineyard Haven can help. Tucked away behind the Black Dog Café, Macdonald’s has an open showroom filled with samples of the hottest trends in flooring, along with a knowledgeable staff to help you choose what suits your needs.

Opened in 1942 by Gil Macdonald, current owners Brent and Laura Cron bought the business in 1981. At the time, the Crons were newlyweds living in Pennsylvania and looking for their next adventure. Ms. Cron shares a look back at how they went from having visited the Island just a couple of times — her husband’s parents had recently retired here — to moving here and becoming an integral part of the community.

“My husband had always wanted to be in business for himself, and my father-in-law called to say that there was a carpet store for sale on the Island. I had to work that weekend, but my husband said he was going to go up and check it out. The next thing I knew, he called to say he had bought it. Keep in mind, we had never even bought carpet. All we knew was fuzzy side up, and yet two weeks later here we were. Our premise was, we were young newlyweds with no children, so this would be the time, though two weeks after we arrived we got pregnant.”

Oh, how the times have changed. Now the Crons have 31 years of flooring experience, along with an on-Island family that includes two daughters and two grandchildren.

In a recent conversation, Ms. Cron shared some of her extensive knowledge of flooring, carpet care and her favorites. When asked if she could share one thing that customers might not know about carpeting, what would it be?

“People should remember to maintain their carpets. It’s like when you buy a car, an investment that you want to keep in shape. You wash your car regularly, but when people buy a carpet they will vacuum it but nothing else, and five years later they will say this looks awful. They will never have cleaned it, professionally or otherwise, and sand is the enemy here for every floor. Many people say they don’t want to pay for a professional cleaning, but it is a really good investment, as you get many more years of life out of your carpet.” While Macdonald’s does not do cleanings, there are several on Island companies that do.

Looking to trends, Ms. Cron has a view. “What is interesting about flooring is we used to carpet everything but the kitchen and bathroom, and now it is more and more hard surface and less wall to wall carpet,” she said. Area rugs are being used more on top of the hard surface instead. I think laminates have been big the last few years as they give you the look of wood without the expense, and there are some pluses to that, as they are really, really durable and don’t scratch like wood. In carpeting, we are selling more and more wool, as it is a natural fiber, it cleans well, and it breaths.”

Flooring comes in such a variety of material, styles, coloring, and combinations, it can be a little daunting. In reviewing Macdonald’s current choices alone, they have products from more than 17 carpet companies, 10 area rug brands, along with several laminate and vinyl flooring options to choose from. What you also have is caring, experienced owners willing to help you choose. How to decide?

“A lot of it personal preference, budget, and allergies,” Ms. Cron said. It is a misnomer that if you have allergies you should have a hard surface, because with a hard surface allergens can be stirred easily and fly around the air for you to breathe, whereas a clean carpet will trap the allergens and keep them from the air.”

As for area rugs, Ms Cron has a preference.” Capel Rugs because they cover all styles, from braids to modern, synthetic fibers to natural fibers, indoor to outdoor, they cover it all. I have sold them for probably 30 years, and I don’t think I have ever had anyone complain about one.”

Visit Brent and Laura Cron at Macdonald’s Carpets & Rugs, Tuesday through Friday, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and Saturdays, from 9:30 am to 2 pm, or call 508-693-2240 to set up an appointment during the evenings, or on Sunday or Monday. On the web, check mvcarpet.com. A one-stop shop for your flooring needs, the company does installations as well.

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Very Vineyard, owned by Carol Lattmann, is located at 20 South Summer Street in Edgartown. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

Very Vineyard, a women’s specialty store located at at 20 South Summer Street in Edgartown that sells batik clothing in a rayon challis fabric, has a new, re-modeled look.

Batik, for those of you not in the know, is cloth that has had a design imprinted on it generally using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique to provide design, color, and depth to the cloth. Owner and designer Carol Lattmann, who fell in love with textile printing while attending Cornell University for landscape design, expanded her adoration in Indonesia, where she worked with traditional batik makers to conjure up her signature style that we all know as Very Vineyard, according to her website, veryvineyard.com.

“To add more space to our building, which we had bought in 2008,” Ms. Lattman said about the decision to remodel. They had rented the building since 1987. “After seven months of renovations, the building has been transformed. The entire first floor, which was originally four sub-units, has been opened up into one big, flowing space with quaint décor and beautiful cherry wood floors.” She added that she has received several positive comments on the re-design. The store originally opened in 1987.

Very Vineyard’s lines of tops, bottoms, dresses, and accessories, which includes colorful scarves, are all designed with Ms. Lattmann’s premise that they should be “classic, yet contemporary, fun and full of comfort as it is all about looking and feeling good. Our lines are designed for predominantly 30- to 50-year-olds, though with our new expanded space we have now added some other collections, such as Prairie Cotton, that work with our lines and include several collections that are geared toward a younger customer as well.”

As to why she chooses rayon challis as her predominant fabric, Ms. Lattmann explained, “It is traditionally used, has more flow, and is most popular.”

Ms. Lattmann’s lines are designed to use various prints, which are added at a rate of 25 new prints each year. Prints are retired after two years. Currently, one of Ms. Lattmann’s personal favorite prints is Idle Time, which is based in purple with hints of blue flowers. You can find the colorful Idle Time fabric made into the Jo Top, Short Dress Italia, and the Victoria Blouse.

Not only have Ms. Lattmann’s lines grown since their inception in 1991, but in 1993 she started to distribute her popular clothing in other stores. The total now exceeds 77 stores in 13 states.

In her newly expanded space, Ms. Lattmann shares her newest additions of “more accessories, shoes, and home goods that follows the Very Vineyard theme.” To see the remodeled face of a Vineyard essential, along with this year’s newest prints and her fantastic line additions to the store, head in Monday through Saturday between 9:30 am and 7:30 pm and on Sundays from 11 am to 7:30 pm (though they are known for staying open later). You may also receive updates from the store about specials if you “like” them on Facebook.

Call 508-221-7896 or visit veryvineyard.com for more information.