Shop Talk

Summer 2012 is turning out to be a scorcher, so why not look hot yourself? To get you looking your best, I have asked a host of Island clothing stores to give their take on this year’s summer clothing trends and their own popular accessories.

In Edgartown I spoke with staff at Bryn Walker and The Great Put On. At Bryn Walker, a popular women’s clothing store located on Kelly Street as well as Main Street in Vineyard Haven, owner Leslie Sterns said, “Our summer is trending toward the layered peasant look in linens and gauze, with the peasant tops having a flowing arm. Also popular is stripes, which you will likely see in every store you visit. Our most popular store accessory is the wide belt that is long enough to wrap several times around the waist, and they are flying out of the store.”

Nicole Bilzerian, who is the buyer and co-owner of The Great Put On, located at 1 Dock Street, shared her view on this summer’s trends for both men and women, which you will be able to find in the designer boutique. “Color is very, very big this year for women and men. Women are leaning towards denim as well as items with an animal print, which we have in ballerina flats to blouses. Men have been gravitating toward the color orange as exhibited by our customer’s top pick of an orange linen shirt we carry. Also popular with the men is our line by Robert Graham, whose cool patterned shirts with coordinating colored cuffs and collars are unusual and whimsical.”

Oak Bluffs is home to the stylish women’s clothing and accessory store b*tru. “This summer’s biggest trend is the high-low hem line: high in front low in back,” owner Dulcie Rutherford said. “It can be found on tops, dresses, and flowing skirts. Scarves are still our strongest selling accessory, with lightweights, gauzy material in bold prints.”

Vineyard Haven is a fashionista’s heaven, with many clothing options. One of newest stores to hit Main and Union Street is The Collection MV, a women’s boutique specializing in resort wear, shoes, sandals, and specialty items. The most popular trend for the summer? “Versatile pieces that take you from beach to dinner, like a cover-up that can act as a top or dress,” said owner Kerry Quinlan-Potter. “Our most popular accessory, the Mystique Sandals line, can help you with this transition. They are gorgeous little shoes, like jewelry for your feet, and are super sparkly so they can dress up any outfit.”

Also on Main Street is Alley Cat, a long-standing eclectic women’s boutique where finding a unique piece can be a breeze. According to manager Daisy Kimberly, the top draws this season are “dresses of any style. We have been extremely busy with special occasion dresses, from cool printed tee-shirt styles to ‘I would like to thank the Academy’ dresses. Then there is our most popular accessory, the shoe. From summer sandals to pretty shoes, people have been crazy over our shoes.”

Judy Hartford, owner of both Red Mannequin on Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs and Yes, We Have No Bananas on State Road in West Tisbury, said, “With the hot summer we are having, people are looking for the lightest weight fabrics they can get. They are also staying away from black and instead going for colors in the form of lightweight cover-ups and lots of dresses versus pants. Our current must-have accessory in both stores is shoes. Women love the flat canvas espadrilles and our boldest shoppers are going for statement-making reds, yellows, and purples in any shoe style. Another trend that is still in is the lightweight scarf.”

Nicole Corbo of Aloha Paddle Martha's Vineyard. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

Summer brings bright sunshine and warm water around the Island — and plenty of fun options on the water.

If you are a boat owner, your to-do list may be limitless: boats seem to require constant maintenance. Lucky for you, the Island has some great marine and boating supply stores.

For a one-stop-shop, whether it is for cleaning supplies, mechanical hardware like a bilge pump, service/repair, launching, hauling, and even storage, Edgartown Marine in Katama on Herring Creek Road is your place. They even have a summer store for your convenience located at 1 Morse Street at North Wharf in Edgartown. To find out more, visit them daily beginning at 7:30 am, call them at 508-627-6500, or visit edgartownmarine.com.

On Beach Road in Vineyard Haven and seasonally at Dock Street in Edgartown, find the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard. In business since 1856, they service everything from dinghies to large yachts. The year-round Vineyard Haven Marine Store is open seven days a week in summer, while the seasonal Edgartown store is open every day but Sunday. They are authorized dealers of such reliable brands as Yamaha and Zodiac. Both stores are accessible from land or water; just make sure to call them first on VHF channel 73 if approaching from the water. You may also reach them by phone at 508-693-0400 in Vineyard Haven and 508-627-6000 in Edgartown, or visit the website: mvshipyard.com

For a quick stop to grab boating essentials, along with some fun-in-the-sun accessories such as tubes, kayaks, and the new hot trend, paddle boards, try West Marine Express at 52 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. Feel free to contact them directly at 508-693-2906.

If the newest wave to hit the water sports, SUP (Stand Up Paddle) boarding is more in line with your desires, there are ample places to find them.

New to the water sports scene is Aloha Paddle MV, which offers SUP lessons, tours, and fitness classes. If you have always wanted to try it or is someone who has enjoyed kayaking for years and is looking to try something new, call Nicole at 808-640-6935 or 508-955-9050, or visit her on the web at alohapaddlemv.com. Aloha Paddle MV has twice weekly Paddle Fit Exercise Classes and kids courses available, along with private and group instruction. They are located in Aquinnah, but will travel throughout the Island. They are Island’s only retailer for Yolo boards, which they have in stock ready for you to take home with your free lesson that comes with purchase.

Also new this year is WuzSUP Sports, which provides rentals, lessons, tours, and SUP Fitness. To learn more, call them directly at 508-684-4860 or visit them on the web at wuzsupsports.com.

Another excellent option is the well-established Island Spirit Kayak, located on the Oak Bluffs side of the Little Bridge on Beach Road, which runs along the barrier beach between Sengekontacket Pond and Nantucket Sound. They will also come to you Island wide as well. Call them to book your time at 508-693-9727 or visit them on the web at islandspiritkayak.com, where you will find a schedule of tours and rental information, along with information about their venture into paddle boarding, which includes lessons and Paddle Board Yoga.

Finally, the ever-present Wind’s Up has joined the SUP wave with sales, lessons, and rentals. Stop by their fully stocked shop and rental area at 199 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven or call them at 508-693-4252. You may also visit them on the web at windsupmv.com.

Weekend events:

Here are two shopping opportunities you might want to try out. Tonight, Thursday July 12 from 8 to 10 pm, Islander Ashley Chase is having a Sea, Love Sample Sale at Slip 77, which is across from Nancy’s in Oak Bluffs. Come see her original swim and beachwear designs.

On Saturday July 14 from 10 to 5 pm, Midnight Farm, at 18 Water-Cromwell Lane, which is between Main Street and the Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven, will host a trunk show featuring John Robshaw. Mr. Robshaw, a textile and home décor designer, is well known for his hand selected bedding, linens, pillows, and vintage treasures. For more information, please call Midnight Farm at 508-693-1997.

Fresh greens, sweet fruit, and a personal touch are what our many farm stands and markets can offer you. As an island, we have sprouted a large number of markets, many bearing numerous fruits of their own labors, others helping other Island growers to get their products out.

One of these people is Elio Silva, with his trio of stores on State Road in Vineyard Haven. Mr. Silva started small with just one store, Tisbury Farm Market, then added Vineyard Grocer, and has most recently added the Summer Tisbury Market to his cluster of stores, though in another year all three will be brought together under one large, new roof where the current Summer Market sits.

“We listened to the customer in understanding that the Tisbury Farm Market [342 State Rd.] has limited parking, which poses a challenge in the summer months, so we added the Summer Tisbury Farm Market [412 State Road] in what will be our large, all inclusive store once construction begins in the fall. In the mean time the Summer Market will primarily be for those needing a farm market,” Mr. Silva said. So whether you need just a produce run, think Summer Tisbury Market; fresh cut meats for the grill with sides already prepared, think Tisbury Farm Market; or you require a full shopping experience including non-perishables, think Vineyard Grocer. For more information, visit vineyardgrocer.com.

The all-inclusive farm market at Morning Glory Farm is located on the Edgartown–West Tisbury Road in Edgartown. Here they grow a predominance of their own produce (based upon season) and then supplement with off-Island, much of it organic, produce and fruit. They raise their own grass-fed beef, lamb, and pork, in addition to carrying eggs. They bake all of their breads and baked goods. Really, who hasn’t had a MGF Pie that they haven’t liked? They even stock their pre-made foods case from their kitchens every day, along with daily soups and a salad bar Monday through Friday. As well known as they are for their own products, they are also known for carrying many other Island products, from Be My Guest Granola to Mermaid Farm yogurt. Open seven days a week with plenty of parking, this one-stop stand can fill your complete shopping list. For more information, visit morninggloryfarm.com.

We will now get to enjoy a familiar grower in a new-to-him venue, as long-term Island grower Rusty Gordon has taken over the Nip ‘n Tuck Farm Stand. Mr. Gordon began working at Whippoorwill Farm, which over his 23 years there he worked up to managing. He then began his own farming company, Ghost Island Farm, for which he has several growing places across the Island, and sells his wares at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market.

When the Nip ‘n Tuck Farm Stand on State Road in West Tisbury became available, he jumped at the chance. He began growing produce and a pick-your-own flower patch on the several acres of land surrounding the stand, and opened for the first time this past weekend. Mr. Gordon follows organic growing methods and is excited to be able to offer his experience in a daily venue, as well as continuing to be represented at the Farmers’ Market. In his stand you will also find Nip ‘n Tucks owner Freddie Fisher’s natural meats and eggs, along with other Island products and some organic fruit.

Not to be outdone by these three markets and stands, we still have many more excellent farm-inspired venues for you. Some highlighted stands are as follows: The FARM Institute in Katama, which grows its own produce and meats; Norton Farm, at 223 Vineyard Haven/Edgartown Road in Vineyard Haven, which has been an Island produce staple along with a corn lover’s haven or many years; Fiddlehead Farm Stand on State Road in West Tisbury, which grows some of its own produce and supplements with much more in the organic realms. They also carry numerous Island products, have an amazing upscale cheese case, and a meat case carrying fresh steaks and charcuterie meats. Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury even jumped into the mix a few years back, making a separate farm stand behind the store for their customers’ convenience. Just up the road from Alley’s is the Grey Barn and Farm, whose stand carries their farm-fresh eggs, meat, and milk, open seven days. Over on Middle Road in Chilmark you might have heard of Mermaid Farm. Find fruit, vegetables, and dairy products such as yogurt and feta cheese.

Along with all of these options, comes a slew of farm stands known for their welcoming hospitality, delicious bounties from the earth and the easy, old school way of doing business – think cash box with a smile. While our Island has so many wonderful options to list, I would rather encourage all of you to take time out of your day to stop and visit your local farm stands that beckon you from their road-side signs. If you have a favorite stand that you want to share with everyone, log into our website mvtimes.com, go to this column, and leave a message of appreciation for your favorite farmer.

If you would like a large sampling of the Island’s produce in one shot, don’t fail to visit one of our many weekly town farmers’ markets. West Tisbury hosts theirs at the Grange Hall on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon. The Oak Bluffs Open Market is on Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm along the water in Washington Park and provides access to not only locally grown produce, but also local artisans, a vintage flea market, and live music.

Radio Shack moved across the road to 426 State Road in Vineyard Haven. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

State Road is widely viewed as a means to get from one part of the Island to another. Many forget all the shopping opportunities there are along the way, and that number keeps growing. Here is a brief introduction to a few of these stores.

If you think back to years past, Woodland Center had limited offerings and was becoming outdated. Now it’s the center of a busy neighborhood with a thriving garden center, several great food options, house wares, a dance studio, and even a workout option. Newest to this grouping is an Island favorite that has been resurrected from its original location in the Tisbury Marketplace. This beloved store is Heath Hen Quilt Shop, which has new ownership as well as a new location in the lower level of the Woodland Center. Now open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, you can find all your quality yarn, fabric, notions, and counted cross-stitched kits in one location. Reach them by phone at 508-693-6730 or online at heathhen.com.

Just across the street you will find another old building having received a brand-new facelift along with a new tenant/owner. Our long-loved Vineyard Electronics, our Island Radio Shack dealer, has moved from its old location next to Island Entertainment into its new digs at 426 State Road.

Owner Linda Sibley did not set out to move her location, but after rumors surged that she was going to buy a new building, she decided to do it. Her assistant manager Simon Bollin and his family moved the entire store in just one weekend.

According to Ms. Sibley, “Mr. Bollin is indispensable and is currently in charge of the all the construction on the building.”

Ms. Sibley is excited about “moving from a cramped space to having all this physical space, even though it is hard and complex to renovate. “We are still deciding what additional products we will carry, though we still have all of our same lines of electronic cables, accessories, knick-knacks and phone lines for AT&T and Sprint,” she said.

The newest and already most popular addition to the store’s line is the iPhone, and all its accessories. Soon to be added is the iPad. For any questions, you may reach them at 508-693-5600 or online at vineyardelectronics.com.

Near the beginning of State Road in Vineyard Haven, number 18 to be exact, you will find the Lorraine Parish Clothing Boutique. Ms. Parish has been designing on the Island since she fell in love with Martha’s Vineyard on a summer trip in 1979. Since then she has been designing her simple yet elegant clothing lines and in 2002 she added home furnishing fabric designs. While she has her store here as well as in Aspen, Boston, and Nantucket, she has now begun a new venture, a clothing website in which she introduces a virtual, alter ego Agatha, who takes a world tour in her clothing. To see her new venture, visit her at lorraineparishclothing.com and start your own world tour.

Skipping all the way up State Road to West Tisbury, we have another unique treasure, celebrating 13 years, though only four years in its current location directly across from up-Island Cronig’s. This colorful place is the Treehouse Studio, owned and operated by artist Ruth Adams.

Ms. Adams offers a collection of artwork and antiques. The artwork is done predominantly by local artists, with some antique art mixed in, while her antiques lean toward the unusual and useful, though keeping in the lighthearted realm. She is open Thursdays through Sundays, though often other days as well. Call ahead at 508-693-6645 or just pull into the drive and give a honk: Ms. Adams lives upstairs from the studio and is always happy to come down to open.

Another specialty service and product option is the newer Betsy’s Dog Spa, located just a little farther up State Road from up-Island Cronig’s (497 State Rd.) and on the same side. Though this outlet is more for your four-legged friends than or you, they are certainly there to make your life easier and Fido happier. In fact, you can head in and use their self-wash stations at bath time, so you don’t have to break your back at home bathing your pooch and cleaning up the mess after.

Along with regular grooming, they also offer doggie day care by the half-day ($11) or the full day ($20), and de-skunking along with flea and tick baths. Leashes, toys, and treats are also available. They are open Tuesday through Saturdays and you may call ahead at 508-955-0540 or visit them at betsysdogspa.com. Keep in mind they do emergency de-skunking on the off hours so don’t hesitate to call.

So next time you have some free time and shopping to do, don’t forget all that State Road has to offer.

Slip 77, a new clothing store located at 28 Lake Street in Oak Bluffs across from Nancy's Restaurant. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

Summer is heating up and the action in Oak Bluffs is in full swing. While we have lots of returning favorites this season, we also have some new stores to visit.

Slip 77 is one of these new spots. In its mission to provide men and women with casual clothing, swimsuits, and resort wear, this boutique is concentrating when possible on using local designers and artisans to do so. Currently they offer Whitney Andresen’s Bikini Thief line and Rebeccah Clark’s rebeccah j handmade leather goods. They are always open to adding more local lines in the store, so let them now if you have a favorite local line or designer.

Other popular lines available at Slip 77 are Olive & Oak and Willow & Clay for the ladies and Hiho and Pelagic for men. If you’re looking for sunglasses, they carry both Proof and Spy+ lines.

The most unusual items just might be their own line of clothing and accessories that are distinguished by a clever logo of nine colored circles clustered in the shape of a square. Keep your eyes out as the season progresses: you might be seeing this colorful logo more often then not. Open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm at 28 Lake Street, Slip 77 is directly across the street from Nancy’s Restaurant. Visit them on the web at slip77.com or on Facebook.

Close to the end of Circuit Avenue, across the street from the Sweet Life Café, a sweet cluster of new stores complements Circuit Avenue’s varied storefronts. This cluster is led by Simply Soaps A Bath Boutique, which specializes in bath and body products made on Martha’s Vineyard. Artfully arranged is a large array of bath collections that are aptly named after places or inspirations related to the Vineyard.

Owner and product maker Beth Ann Serusa began making handmade soaps as gifts for friends and family. Her efforts evolved into a business that relied on other stores for distribution. As Ms. Serusa’s collections grew to include natural soaps, lotions, body butters, scrubs and washes, bath salts, versatile fragrance sprays, and soy candles, so did her need for her own space. Her bright, welcoming blue shop is easy to find — just look for the large white claw-foot tub filled with bubbles that light up in the front window. It may not be so easy to decide which of her numerous collections is your favorite. To preview of her collections, visit her on the web at simplysoapsmv.com.

Adjacent to Simply Soaps is a small new shoe shop, Foot Fetish, which specializes in dressy sandals. Also included in this quaint cluster is Gwen’s Jewelry Boutique and sophomore MV Tattoo.

If you haven’t yet stopped by, don’t forget that Johnny Cupcakes held its grand opening this past week. They are now in full swing selling their limited edition tee-shirts, accessories, and more. Located in the middle of Circuit Avenue, it is definitely worth a visit.

Vacant storefronts in Vineyard Haven are filling up with new businesses. Two new stores have set up shop in previously iconic spaces.

The space previously known as Riley’s Reads around the corner from Main Street, heading toward the Stop & Shop parking lot, has been reinvigorated by new occupant Free Bird Market. The boho-chic resale market place is the brainchild of owner Ashley Gilbert, who moved to the Island 18 months ago with her husband and two children from Connecticut, where she was a storeowner.

When she arrived here, Ms. Gilbert joined the Vineyard Artisans displaying her 3D multi-media wall art. She enjoyed the shows, but she felt drawn to the Free Bird Market space when it became available, though at first she hadn’t formed a concept of what she wanted to put there. Inspired by European markets that offer a variety of items, Ms. Gilbert settled on the concept of offering resale, consignment, vintage, new, and designer products to fit everyone’s price point, year-round.

“The great thing about the store is that it is constantly changing as every day we have something new,” Ms. Gilbert said. “We opened two months ago and have been well received by Islanders in light of the many repeat customers we have already garnered.”

The two-room store offers everything from jewelry to home goods, along with clothes, shoes, and accessories. Shoppers can also try their hands at making their own pendant necklaces from a variety of baskets containing new and vintage, mix n’ match pedants, with leather ropes or chains. A design-your-own necklace starts at $5.

Ladies will appreciate the designer clothes available at great discounts. One lucky lady left the store last week with a $2,400 Prada dress for $198 and there are many more designer pieces still available for at least 50 percent off original prices.

Ms. Gilbert has also stocked up on the trendy, embroidered jeans to help round out summer wardrobes. There is also a large selection of vintage jewelry and one-of-a-kind new pieces from such designers such as the local Original Cyn Jewelry.

Something to look forward to this summer will be Free Bird Market’s evening trunk shows. This new, eclectic year-round business is currently open from 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesdays through Sundays, though will soon be extending their hours in the evenings and be open seven days a week. Call Ms. Gilbert directly at 203-727-4823.

Another specialty store, which opened just around the corner on Main Street in the old Bramhall & Dunn location is Juliska Island Store & Outlet. This store was designed to carry all of the very popular Juliska tableware lines.

The storefront is colorful and inviting, and I found the staff to be friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. You are encouraged to wander both floors, viewing some dynamic table settings that are sure to inspire.

Downstairs is most colorful and encompasses all of the newest Juliska lines, including the eye-catching Country Estate line, apparently one of their more popular designs. Upstairs, browse the outlet section that carries a variety of seconds and retired lines in ceramics, glass, and more. Also upstairs you will find note cards by Jack & LuLu Stationary, blankets, sun hats, bags, scarves, and even bkr glass water bottles. The store is open every day, and can be reached by phone at 508-562-4010.

Both stores are definitely worth a visit and we welcome the wonderful options they bring to the Island’s retail landscape.

Yes, we have heard it before, the season arrives and prices go up. Well, while it might be true for some things, if you are a year-round Islander you have the option to take advantage of a club discount program known as Our Island Club.

Many participating businesses offer discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent on certain products and services to card holders. According to the website ourislandclub.com, card holders can realize approximately $1,000 in savings depending on individual spending. The Island Club claims to have more than 175 participating member businesses.

Examples of daily/weekly savings include10 percent on all groceries at Cronig’s Market, 10 percent off daily lunches or the coffee/pastry combo (before 11 am) at Espresso Love, 20 percent off a 10-session package at FLY Yoga Studio, 10 percent off daily specials (20 percent if it is between 3 and 5 pm) at Linda Jean’s Restaurant, and you can stay safe along with avoiding parking challenges this summer by getting 20 percent off Stagecoach Taxi’s standard rates.

Specialty services include 20 percent off all kayak tours with Island Spirit Kayaks, 20 percent off packaging boxes at the Mailroom, or get the summer stress rubbed away with 20 percent off your first two massages at Bodysense.

Annual memberships cost $89 for an individual, $109 for a family (two cards), and seniors can get either an individual for $59 or a family for $79.

Keep in mind that 20 percent of the membership fee goes back into the community in the form of club donations to local charities. Club members designate where the 20 percent goes. To date, Our Island Club said it has donated more than $200,000.

For more information, call 508-696-5430 or visit the website.

Many businesses provide their own discount programs to help customers save some money. Some examples that might be helpful to all of us getting our yards ready for summer include garden centers like Vineyard Gardens, Heather Gardens, and Jardin Mahoney.

Vineyard Garden on State Road in West Tisbury offers numerous discounts, as shown on their website, vineyardgardens.net.

Heather Gardens, also on State Road in West Tisbury, offers 15 percent off to seniors on Thursdays. Visit heather-gardens.com for more information. Jardin Mahoney (jardinmahoney.com), located on the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs, has a VIG (Very Important Gardner) program in which you earn reward points by using your card every time you shop, which can earn you a $50 gift card. They even offer specials on select weekends just for VIG members. The program is free; all you have to do is sign up.

Recep Dinli, owner of the new Kissmet store in Edgartown. — 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.

The official start to summer is here, Memorial Day, which generally takes us three full days to celebrate, culminating in the actual day, Monday, May 28. Revelry usually means a party, if not a family BBQ. Don’t be caught short. Instead, prepare now to arrange a perfect Memorial Day setting.

First and foremost, as this American holiday began in 1868 as a remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service, remember to maintain this honor by flying an American flag. You may find flags in numerous places across the Island, from hardware to grocery stores and party stores to boating stores, along with many places in between. Eden Garden Center on Upper State Road in Vineyard Haven is offering American Flags in multiple sizes, with 25 percent off for veterans.

Should you be hosting a barbecue, you might need some necessities. If it is time to upgrade your grill, a visit to Shirley’s Hardware or Hinckley & Sons Ace Hardware, both in Vineyard Haven, could fill your need. Shirley’s has numerous Weber grills available, along with accessories, to ensure you will be grilling for many years to come. While there you can also select various decorations, paper products, and even easy outdoor lighting, including citronella candles. Hinckley’s, on the other hand, carries gas grills and charcoal grills by such brands as Grill Zone and Weber. If you fancy a grill that is not currently available on site, they will help you order exactly what you want and have it delivered to their store for free. They even have a service in which they will put your grill together and deliver it to your home: just ask them directly for more details.

If you need more seating to accommodate a large group or just need to replace your outdoor furniture, Vineyard Hearth, Patio & Spa on State Road in Vineyard Haven can help. They have furniture in all mediums, from aluminum to teak and wicker to wrought iron. Outdoor lighting is from Golden Eagle Coppersmiths, and Alfresco Homes is the maker of their Tiki Bars along with their bistro sets. Relax with a hammock or stay in the shade with one of their Galtech umbrellas. They also have a very large selection of grills, from built-ins to free standing. For a splurge in watching the bright stars in the sky this summer, a hot tub from their spa collection could provide the most relaxing seat in your backyard.

It is one thing to have a wonderful setting with great food, but if people are going to be around for a while, it might behoove you to find some lawn games to play with your guests. Enter The Lazy Frog on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. They have traditional games, some with a new twist to contemporary games. Currently the most popular game is CornHole by Baggo, in which you toss beanbags at a wooden game boards in the hope of landing in the pocket. Also check out The Toy Box in Vineyard Haven or Granite in Edgartown.

Another bright spot this coming weekend is the return of the Vineyard Artisans Festival, which kicks off this Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm, at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury.

Sales:

It wouldn’t be a Memorial Day weekend without partaking in some amazing deals at local stores. This year is no exception. Vineyard Decorators, at the Airport in West Tisbury, will host its annual Weekend Tent Sale, where you will find unheard of discounts of up to 75-percent off selected merchandise ranging from furniture to home accessories, along with 10 percent off storewide and 10 percent off Serta Mattresses. The Tent sale is Friday through Monday, from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 13, buy your Mom something local — Photo by Sean O'Connor

Mother’s Day is here, this Sunday, May 13, and hopefully you have gotten your mother something special to say thank you for all she does.

If you have left it ’til the last minute, due to either anxiety for getting the right token or plain procrastination, don’t fret: here are a few suggestions to help you out. Keep in mind that our mothers are unique and special, which means we should choose something with the similar characteristics to honor her.

Earth and garden-loving mothers will appreciate anything from one of our many amazing garden centers on the Island. A couple of the many options available to you are unusual perennials and annuals from Eden Market & Garden Center on State Road in Vineyard Haven. Middletown Nursery & Garden Center in West Tisbury, on the other hand, is willing to help you not only choose the right plants and flowers for an amazing planter, but they will also help you to pot the planter right there.

If your mother is a trendsetter, Midnight Farm, located in the heart of downtown Vineyard Haven, has received new spring arrivals. Choose something phenomenal for mom from their selections of clothing, shoes, accessories, or jewelry, and combine it with a unique candle or a special piece from their housewares section that will make her think of you each time she lays her eyes on it. If you can’t decide, a gift certificate will give her not only the pleasure of a coveted gift, but enjoyment in perusing their many selections for her home, body, and spirit.

An additional option could be a personalized gift basket that you helped design from Rouge Luxe Apothecary on Kennebec Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Here, you can choose her favorite scents in soap, lotion, or perfumes as well as make-up and skin care from specialty lines like BLISS, Purity, Kiehl’s, or Kate Somerville, to name a few. Whatever you choose will be placed in their opulent, signature black box adorned with a black satin ribbon.

A slightly early gift for mom to help her get ready for the Mother’s Day weekend could be a visit to Seniel’s Circuit Style Salon’s second annual Say No to the Mom Cut. Conveniently located on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, all moms receive 20 percent off all services and 25 percent off all products on Friday, May 11.

For the mom that loves to be active outdoors, think about keeping her outdoors with a new or gently used kayak from Wind’s Up on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. Lucky for you they are currently hosting a kayak sale, and you could add in a new outfit for mom to paddle in at 50 percent off.

Another option may perhaps give both of you the opportunity to support a much-needed nonprofit while giving mom a day of enjoyment on the greens. You may register her to participate in the 13th annual Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank VNA Golf Classic that is being held Friday, June 22, at the Vineyard Golf Club. By registering mom online at vineyardnursing.org or by phone at 508-696-0785, you will not only donate her $200 entrance fee (an early bird rate if purchased by Mother’s Day) to the Vineyard Nursing Association, but you will give her the opportunity to participate in one of the Island’s most enjoyable summer events that includes breakfast, awards, and lunch following play.

If you just can’t find a specific gift, choose a gift certificate from one of our Island’s amazing stores, but be sure to attach it to a fun, whimsical token gift that has meaning for the two of you or perhaps to a favorite treat from Vineyard Sweets MV that are made by Anne Bennet, who can be reached at 508-274-3860.

Whatever your Mother’s Day gift idea is, please try to keep it local — to support your community and hers.