It’s never too early to start celebrating and preparing for the holidays, and Juniper — a floral shop, artist co-op, and branch of Donaroma’s all rolled into one — is setting us up to do just that. They have developed an alluring set of pop-ups to help us get a head start on selecting gifts for the holidays, as well as a way to bring people together to celebrate local artistic talent.
Aubrey Maria Sirois of Juniper faced a dilemma when she first opened the store during the COVID pandemic. “All the artisan fairs were closed, and my weddings were canceled, so I didn’t have any money to buy things to put in our store,” she remembers. Thinking imaginatively, Sirois pivoted to a commission-based artisan model in the shop. So, why now for these special pop-ups? “The merger with Donaroma’s has been amazing, and we want people to experience all the positive changes that we’ve had, touching base with our original clientele, and Islanders at large,” Sirois explains. “I’m hoping people come to see what these artists and artisans have created for the holiday season.” The three Friday open houses began on Oct. 28 and run through Nov. 11, from 5 to 7 pm at the store on 18 North Summer St. in Edgartown, across from Espresso Love.
They selected a roster of creative Vineyarders from those who had shown at Juniper before. “It has been important to highlight members of our community who pursue their passions in the arts, and in creating locally made products,” she says. “But it’s really hard to choose. There are so many great artists and artisans on the Island that we could probably do this every weekend for six months.”
These special events don’t just celebrate the artists and artisans but include cooking demos, flower-design classes, DJs and musicians, and since it’s the end of the day, signature “mocktails” by MV Speakeasy will be offered each night.
Dena Porter, guest curator and a freelance photographer for the Martha’s Vineyard Times, says, “We have enjoyed featuring local artists whom you might not know but should.” In fact, you might not know them as artists but in their different roles. Beth Smith, a painter, is also an emergency room nurse. Painter Alena Grady is a dental hygienist, and Jessica Kovack is a ceramicist and an architect.
The kickoff last Friday featured Porter’s photography and Heidi Feldman from M.V. Sea Salt, who used her sea salt to rim the signature cocktail created by MV Speakeasy. This Friday, Nov. 4, will highlight painters Darcie Lee Hanaway and Alena Grady, joined by artisans Brad Tucker and Liz Ragone, who create stunning handmade wooden pieces like benches, countertops, and cutting boards from recycled wood. Tucker is also a musician, and his trio will serenade visitors with a mix of music.
Painters Beth Smith and Billie Jean Sullivan will be spotlighted on Friday, Nov. 11. Amy Coffey, a Juniper employee who takes photos of their flowers, uses the images to create her Island-themed gifts of greeting cards, tote bags, and more. And David Kish, known for his regular Sunday morning jazz program on MVY Radio, will be the DJ that night.
While not officially part of the series, Juniper will have artists and artisans in the store in December as well, including on Dec. 2, a Holiday Shopping preview with Jessica Kovack of JK Design Co. taking orders for customized Christmas ornaments, with Todd Christy from Chilmark Coffee offering samples and promo items. And there will be more special events to kick off Christmas in Edgartown on Friday, Dec. 9, with details to follow.
“We really want folks to get to know and invest in our local artists and artisans’ products,” Porter says. “Come and have a good time. Get to know members of the community you might not have otherwise known about, and get your holiday shopping started early!”
Friday pop-ups at Juniper, 18 North Summer St., Edgartown. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.