New stores and faces appear in Vineyard Haven


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.