Shopping at Appalachian Spring has been a lifetime adventure for me, having been here since its inception…40 something years ago! We were very young when we opened the first store and at that time couldn’t really afford to buy many of the beautiful things we were selling in the store because we were plowing all monies made back into growing the business. Slowly we began to furnish our home with the basics but instead of buying a “set” of dishes we began to buy functional pottery as we found pieces we really liked and felt connected to, and did the same with glassware, vases, placemats, jewelry boxes and on and on.
Women understand what it means to build a wardrobe. I first gained insight into building all types of wardrobes while helping a customer with jewelry. She explained that every woman needs a basic jewelry wardrobe much like a basic clothing wardrobe. When the basic wardrobe is complete, she makes additional purchases to add to the wardrobe over time as she comes upon a special piece that fits into her specific wants or needs. Her jewelry wardrobe is completely different from every other woman’s because she buying it over time and because she prefers handcrafted jewelry.
I have done the same for my home “wardrobe”. I started with the basics and have had great fun as I’ve added special pieces. I’m the curator of my personal collection. I select my collection with care, thought and true appreciation of what I’m doing. The purchases are made to enhance the collection and to fill in the blanks. I know it sounds as though I’m talking about a fine art collection but I’m talking functional tableware, candlesticks, etc. Opening the cupboards affords me so many choices. I get to take part in the creation of the table setting or in more contemporary terminology “tablescape” in much the same way as the craftspeople who have created the pieces. My table is unlike any other and I love it!
I, too, have a lifetime of collecting high quality American art, thanks for Appalachian Spring. My home is filled with unique pieces that I have added over the past 30 years, and will continue to expand as I am a tried and true Appalachian Spring customer. First time visitors to my home consistently ask about the pottery, the glass, the kaleidoscopes, the tables, the quilts, the jewel boxes, the mirrors, and on and on. Although I direct them to the website, I also have to say that many of the items are not available. Artists do not mass produce so the few items that they allow to be displayed and shared with us are gifts that go to few. Therefore, I have learned that if I am touched by something that I see, I must buy it now or know that the chance that it will be available later is slim to none.
It would be remiss of me to not focus on their jewelry as a stand alone statement. I am fortunate to have a few unusual pieces of jewelry from artisans work on display at their stores. I find it most interesting that each time I wear a piece, someone asks me about it. Recently, again, someone asked where she can get the same necklace and earrings. I had to tell her that I learned the artist is no longer making jewelry and that this is a one of a kind piece. Sad for her. Lucky for me that I was astute enough to purchase and keep in my Applachian Spring box for over 15 years.
I believe that the best way to honor our American artists is to display and wear their work. I am thankful for stores such as Appalachian Spring that bring the best of our countrys talent to us.
January 24, 2012 5:16 PM
Specializing in Fine American Crafts since 1968. All items in stock and available for shipment.