A handful of new stores have opened for business in Vineyard Haven this summer. Among them are two boutiques featuring clothing by local designers and two home decor shops.
The little cluster of businesses across from the Black Dog Tavern has expanded its presence this year. ReFabulous Decor has opened an additional location around the corner from their main store, where they sell home decor items and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The second shop, ReFabulous 2, features refurbished and recycled furniture at reasonable prices.
Just next door to ReFabulous Decor Two, seamstress Donna DeSilva has launched another new business — a boutique called Red Door Couture. The small shop carries clothing and jewelry from local designers, as well as a selection of ready-made clothes, jewelry, and accessories.
Red Door Couture is currently spotlighting the work of two Vineyard designers, Keren Tonnesen and Chrysal Parrot, as well as Ms. DeSilva’s one-of-a-kind aprons. The aprons are a clever repurposing of vintage linens, laces, and crocheted doilies, patchworked together on canvas bank bags. Not just for the kitchen, the charming bib-front aprons can be worn as a sort of pinafore over a tee and jeans or a skirt. Ms. DeSilvia is also working on a similar line of sundresses.
Keren Tonnesen’s line of hand-block-printed cotton and linen separates, Vital Signs, already has a dedicated following. She is no longer actively making new items, but is selling out her remaining stock with the slogan, “The End of the Line. No more being made. May the piece be with you.”
Chrysal Parrot designs feminine sundresses, party dresses, and blouses and suits with a nod to earlier times. Her sundresses and tops feature pretty retro cotton prints, often combined in coordinating patterns and colors. Ms. Parrot’s June Cleaver dress is the perfect ladylike day dress with collared shirt top and flared skirt. Red Door Couture is also featuring some of Ms. Parrot’s party wear with a similar retro feel. Among the jewelers Red Door Couture represents are local designer Richelle Hicks.
Just up a flight of stairs on the same stretch of Beach Street Extension, you’ll find the studio/shop of designer Tricia Ginter. Previously located in Chester, Conn., the business, named Frock, offers casual comfortable clothing for women, all handmade in the studio. Located inside the shop is also the studio of jeweler Maureen Puia, who works in silver and copper. Stop by and visit these two creative women and check out their work. Frock is open Wednesday through Saturday, 12 to 5 pm. For additional information, visit frockisland.com.
Another addition to the Vineyard Haven shopping scene is a new destination for unique home goods located adjacent to the Mansion House. The shop, named Lodestone, is owned by Nicole Mayhew, who formerly operated the same store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The eclectic inventory includes items that Ms. Mayhew has collected throughout her travels, and her own original artwork and furniture, as well as original photography, stone sculptures, and distinctive pieces made from barn wood and steel by Brooklyn carpenters.
Now among one of the Island’s most interesting and exotic shops, Lodestone carries African sculptures, Turkish kilim rugs, sheepskins from Australia and Iceland, pillows and throws made with fabrics from Thailand and Mali, ottomans covered with antique Indian saris, artistic taxidermy and animal skull objects and — well, you never know.
“I’ve always dreamed of having a space that felt like a museum, but where you could also touch everything and purchase the items,” says Ms. Mayhew. “Most are one of a kind.”
Ms. Mayhew has an arrangement with Judy Hartford, owner of the West Tisbury boutique Bananas. The two women will be sharing the store, with Lodestone occupying the space for the summer and Bananas moving from its current home to Vineyard Haven for the off-season. “It’s just turned out to be an ideal relationship,” says Ms. Hartford. “We share a similar aesthetic.” Bananas’ signature look, in women’s and men’s clothing and shoes, might best be described as bohemian chic.
Another home store, named Weekends, is now open two days a week in the Vineyard Haven house and garden of interior designer Rosemary Casey. “I’ve been a designer in Connecticut for many years, and I’m now turning to painting and creating beautiful home accessories,” says Ms. Casey.
In a charming little summer house in the yard, you’ll find lovely watercolor botanical prints, handsewn pillows, notecards, some antiques, and decorative accessories. “My whole idea was that you could freshen up your home or vacation house with new pillow or prints,” says Ms. Casey. “I am really offering a collection of accessories to infuse rooms with a fresh, informal and lighthearted style: livable charm.”
Guests can also visit the interior of Ms. Casey’s 1773 home, located on Camp Street next to the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank. “I’ve also opened my dining room to visitors. They can view this antique house. It’s really a precious house. People are always curious to see it.”
And, of course, there’s also the opportunity to chat with the friendly and welcoming Ms. Casey herself. “I like meeting people. Some of them are interested in the house, some are interested in knowing what a decorator would do with various things.”