Saturday, January 15, 2011

A trip downtown (or why I decided to open a shop on Second Street in Lewes, Delaware)

Dear Reader -  As I mentioned in my This is not a dream . . .  post back in December, one of the reasons why I chose to open a business in Lewes is because of its thriving little downtown, faithfully supported by locals, who love that the shops are open year-round, and favorite of the off-the-beaten-track brand of resort visitors. And I want to show you a little more of why biblion fits so perfectly in this spot, penning a few posts on some of my neighbors.

I stopped down at the shop to check on the progress of the floor yesterday (I'll give you a full, heapin' helpin' of that in a later post). And while the Beneficent Mr. Ted was making his way back from Lowes with a floor stain sample card, I took the opportunity to wander down Second Street a bit.

I made my way just across the street to one of the little shops on the ground floor of the Hotel Rodney, Circa Home. This unique home accessory shop is owned by my friends John and Bill, the second of whom was there to greet me warmly:

Circa Home is a tiny little shop, but there's much to be seduced by if you take the time to linger in it a bit:
(Side note: See that frumpy black handbag and pile of files on their beautiful chair? That's mine. Bill and John don't sell frumpy black handbags. Heck, Bill and John don't sell frumpy anything.)

John and Bill have been in business here in Lewes for about a decade, where they've become one of the mainstays of a Lewes shopping experience. In fact, it's worth noting that Circa Home is the reason why little Lewes swarmed with Secret Service agents a few years back, when First Lady Laura Bush made a stop in town to visit John and Bill's shop at the behest of one of her friends. They then crossed the street for lunch at Agave, the best Mexican food at the beach with a stellar tequila bar (boasting over 100 varieties to try).

Bill and John are both beautiful men, and their shop reflects this. It's gorgeously appointed and arranged, with a curated collection of found objects that are assembled in a loving and thoughtful manner, such to inspire. Visiting Circa Home is a sensory delight. They are also excellent buyers, resulting in very fair pricing for their antiques and artful finds.

I'd stopped in the day before and John showed me these gorgeous bookends (they're a tiny bit out of my girl-starting-a-new-business price range, but I still enjoyed imagining them on one of my future client's bookshelves):

I fell seriously in love with this little English dessert set:

And as the chairwoman of a local art show, I was also drawn to this primitively-painted box:

Bill gave me an equally warm goodbye (note the lamp shade to his right - that's a lamp shade "slip cover" that they offer - it's a lovely and affordable way to resuscitate a failing shade or blend one with decor), sending me on my way to their next door neighbor, Sally, at The Cottage:

Sally was on the phone with her contractor when I entered (she's opening an additional shop out on King's Highway called The Old Screen Door, where she'll be selling her sought-after "shabby chic" furniture items). See her back in the right corner?:

So I puttered around a bit while she finished up.

Sally's shop has mix of vintage, one-of-a-kind items, like these jaunty hats:

Or this Baptismal gown:

Blended with unique contemporary items, like these darling artichoke tea lights:

Or this cute, fish-shaped serving dish:

She also has some seriously fun and funky jewelry to offer, and, much to the delight of all of the local Soap Fairy fans, she carries a complete corner of Soap Fairy products as well.

She's been in Lewes now for three years, loving every minute of it. She was nothing but encouraging and enthusiastic about biblion, freely offering a wealthy of newly-in-business wisdom. I'm certain that I'll be back to visit her again in the wintry days ahead:

She waved goodbye, and I made my way back to biblion, where I was thrilled to see that Teresa and her brother from Quillen Signs had already stopped by to put up the window signs:

I loved the red prior to this, but now I'm loving it even more - it glows happily, catching the eye from down the street. Teresa's advised that I repeat it on the store's side sign (just visible in the upper right hand corner) - I'm gonna follow her advice, perhaps considering a switch over to the three-dimensional lettering that Thistles had after we get established.

While I'd love to turn right around and continue our virtual tour, dear Reader, I need to get back to work. Heck, I gotta ensure that biblion lives up to the wonderful standards that her Second Street neighbors have set, right?

Onward!  - Jen


  1. Love the red lettered signs!! And you did a great job describing and photographing your neighbors shops. Am looking forward to doing lots of exploring on Second Street when I next come to Delaware to see you and C.

  2. Thanks, Annie! See, an excuse to come again sooner rather than later, my friend! - J

  3. I have never been to your part of our nation, but would love to visit if ever I do!
    Great looking storefront!


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