I put together a list this morning of projects that need doing.
I filled an entire sheet.
I posted it and every time I walk by it I think of something else to add. There are some plusses to being stuck at home.
Some of the things on the list have been on the back burner for months and perhaps years!
I have decided to make sure that I pick something on that list to complete every day…with that in mind I literally could stay home for a quite a while.
Well, that will take care of some of the time I have on my hands…
I have already discovered this morning that my mind is still creative and fertile…teeming with ideas…mostly how to improve and take my business to the next level…new things I want to do, plans I want to put into action.
It’s almost scary. Maybe, just maybe, that is why when this is over our economy is going to go nuts….we will all have this pent up creativity and desire to go full steam ahead.
Some things with regard to my business I have already implemented in this new free time I have found myself blessed with.
Minuses, of course, we all know. We miss each other, we’re a little scared and we can’t wait for it to be behind us. And, it’s hard stop from eating! 😉
I need to squeeze every bit of summer left out of August!!!
It’s been a good summer though with lots of things happening at The Whistling Elk.
We have brought in a lot of new products and there are more coming this Fall.
New and in stock right now…
MICHEL DESIGN WORKS
A beautifully packaged line of everyday fragranced products that are fabulous for hostessgifts! The Foaming Hand Soaps are probably my favorite but there are quite a few other items to choose from.
The bar soaps are large and the packaging tempts you want to keep them wrapped. The Soy Candles come in beautiful boxes that you will want to save for keepsakes and everything smells amazing...there are many many scents!
The Hand and Body Lotion contains, of course, Shea Butter and there is also luxurious Shower Gel.
These products are all priced from $11 to $17 so they are perfect for small token gifts or dare i say…stocking stuffers.
But that is not where Design Works stops….they also have gorgeous kitchen aprons, potholders and tea towels…pillows and scatter rugs! And, a complete line of melamine platters, plates, bowls and other serving pieces that are colorful, lightweight and,of course, unbreakable!
You will love this line and we are stocked now with more coming for the holidays!
Maison Berger is introducing about 80 new products this Fall. They are expanding the AROMA Collection and introducing new Diffusers and Soy Candles.
I LOVE the Aroma Collection…
the scents are complex yet pure – so nice!
There are New Scents and New Lampes and Gift Sets just in time for the holidays. We are the largest retailer of Maison Berger in New Jersey so you will always find a huge selection of fragrances and lampes every day. Maison Berger makes such a great gift for everyone, the gift sets are so reasonably priced and now Maison Berger has included a new larger free sample of scent with each gift set….We love Maison Berger!
Of course we still have all the beautiful, classic home furnishings and accessories that you expect from us! Come see us soon!
Wishing you a Happy New Year!…and reminding you that The Whistling Elk is
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK…for your shopping convenience.
Mondays from 10:00 am til 4 pm
Tuesday thru Sunday from 10:00 am til 5:30 pm
Mondays are especially good days to shop us – you can beat the weekend crowd and jazz up a dreary Monday by coming in for casually elegant home furnishings and accessories!
At the Whistling Elk you will find all the finishing touches that make a house Your Home at affordable prices…accent furniture, lighting, artwork and mirrors!
You will also find thoughtful gifts! In addition to Lampe Berger Paris there is Bedford Cottage Throws, exquisite French Jewelry, Sloane Fine Teas and much more! And don’t forget we sell Paint Couture…a fantastic choice for creating amazing furniture and cabinet finishes.
I have just returned from shopping for 2018…
There are lots of great new gift items, accent furniture, artwork, rugs and more! It was so much fun finding great pieces for you!
So if you love a European style that is casually elegant you will love the shop.
So come by any day….and don’t forget MONDAYS! Start your week off right with a visit to THE WHISTLING ELK.
We are in our 28th Year in Chester of bringing your style, beauty and affordability!
As 2017 draws to a close, I would just like to say how grateful I am for all the wonderful customers who frequent my shop!
It has been another wonderful year! And I am enthusiastically awaiting the beginning of my 28th year here in beautiful Chester NJ…in another couple of weeks I will be heading to Atlanta to shop for merchandise for 2018!
I will be forever grateful that I chose Chester to be the home for my collection of casually elegant home furnishings and accessories….
Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!
Wow, I guess moving really did affect me! I just realized that I have not posted to the blog in over 5 months! Oh My! But life at The Whistling Elk continues…
The Fall and Christmas season has passed…I made my annual January trip to Atlanta to buy goods for 2017…and have already received several shipments from those orders placed in January…
As always it is so exciting to receive new goods. Always a fresh start and a new perspective! And this year will not disappoint. So, come and visit The Whistling Elk soon because we are already showing new pretty stuff!!
…They ask this when they are standing in my shop amidst the furniture and home accessories that are displayed in The Whistling Elk.
I usually just shrug off this question because I have never really thought much about it – until recently…you see I just sold my home. A short few words but a lot of meaning!
Taking stock and packing I realized just how consistent I really am…there is a resemblance in that I really love to be surrounded by beauty. I guess if I am one thing…that is…Consistent !!
I have lived in my home for 28 years…it feels like a part of me. It always felt good just to be there. Over the years I have brought home pieces that I loved and integrated them into the mix. Some things came and went while others I cannot imagine parting with ever.
My list of belongings reads like a list of the companies that I have done business with over the years in the shop.
I have a J.M. Paquet sofa…they are out of business now being one of the ones to go early in 2008. but the sofa lives on and when the time comes I will have it reslipcovered yet again. Its so comfortable and I still love it so it will go with me to my new home.
My Habersham buffet is another piece that I love. It makes me happy every time I just look at it. It houses my grandmothers dishes which will be going to my niece for safekeeping. The buffet though goes with me. The savonnerie carpet is from Feizy…and it was chosen because…well, I just fell in love with it.
I love this room and have spent many, many hours here! The mantel I bought when a 1890’s home in New Brunswick was demolished. It was a wreck all chipping and dirty. I took my hand sander and sanded all the dirt and loose paint off and then had it attached to the wall.
Since I have always wanted to live in an old fieldstone house I mimicked that with the faux painted fieldstone wall on which that mantel is mounted. I loved this look and am sorry to leave it behind. I guess I will have to paint a new wall!
Another favorite room is the Master Bedroom…and Master Bath off of it…
I purchased a really crummy pair of shutters and nailed them to the wall on either side of a large window and it created just the right look to go with the Dutch Caribbean bed. I cannot remember the name of the company that this bed came from but it is solid hand carved mahogany.
The beautiful painted lingerie chest fit just perfectly in the corner of the room…it’s shape is what makes it special. It’s rounded across the front. It came from RH Home…they were a California company which is also gone. Sadly.
The walls I faux painted to resemble my take on old crumbling Italian walls…and you can’t see it in the picture but on the wall at the foot of the bed is a huge 5 foot x 4 foot picture of a hotel on Lake Como Italy which I have to say I loved waking up and seeing every morning. Perfect way to start the day!
The Linen Press next to the bed is an antique piece from England circa 1880…my niece will be picking up this piece tonight and it will go to live in her bedroom. It came from a company called ARK Antiques which is also out of business…so many great companies over the years have come and gone. Sadly our economy is not good for small business these days.
I really got fanciful with my master bath. The Alma Slade draperies are chenille and were perfect with the colors in the Nourison carpet. But my favorite piece is the Danish Vanity from ARK Antiques…circa 1910. So pretty! And of course I just had to have a little vintage chandelier in there…Right? Absolutely!
I have a thing about old doors and I managed to get my fix with that too in the dining room where I leaned two heavy old French doors to flank a 3 panel screen…an oil from Andrew Kolb & Sons depicting a hillside village in Italy. That’s the only non-bling (Stone County Ironworks) chandelier I own over that table!!! I always meant to hang some crystals on it…
So I guess this is my tribute to my pretty little home that I am leaving behind. I will miss it. A little place always filled with light from all the large windows. But I am also so excited to start over and to what I am going to create next!
I am still chuckling over the Small Business Saturday video featuring Miss Piggy (it’s posted on chesterstreettalk.com.)
Very Cute! Thanks for sharing Jess!
And yes, the Christmas Season is almost here…
Thanksgiving is next week! Wow! I can’t wait to enjoy the food and the family gathering!
At The Whistling Elk I am ready! The tree is up and full of Mark Roberts Fairies and beautiful ornaments…
and, of course, we are well stocked with our favorite jewelry line, La Vie Parisienne…
A new shipment of Sloane Fine Tea Merchants Teas came last week so we have some favorites in stock like Heavenly Cream and some new ones like Vanilla Bean Rooibos….I tried this one last night and it is delicious and healthy to boot…full of antioxidants and anti-inflammories…yummm!
Sadly you cannot eat these beautiful cupcake ornaments!
Our famous Throw Blankets always make a great gift…Soft and warm they are also a beautiful addition to your home décor!
Lots of pretty decorations around the shop to help you get into the holiday spirit!
Oh my, our Lampe Berger shelves are packed with amazing fragrances, lots of beautiful Lampes to choose from or Gift Sets at special prices so you can give the gift of scent to friends and family!
You will find the shop is full of beautiful artwork, mirrors, lamps and small accent tables for the home…we are still a wonderful source of home furnishings and accessories! So come and find out what shopping Small Business is all about…great service, friendly faces and, of course, CHESTER is in itself is a beautiful location for shopping…so full of old world charm!
It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago just about this time I was collecting merchandise in my garage in preparation to taking possession of my first shop location in Chester on May 1st, 1990. It has been a wonderful 25 years and I have hundreds of photos taken of the shop over the years. So take a walk with me down M.E.M.O.R.Y. L.A.N.E…
The first home of The Whistling Elk was at 9 Main Street, Chester. I hung a lace ceiling in this shop…it had a really ugly ceiling and the lace really improved it but I still had to cut holes in the lace for the air conditioning vent… It was a small shop just three rooms in 800 square feet. In those early days I remember that we sold a huge amount of silk flowers and vines.
Sadly, I don’t have a lot of pictures of the 9 Main Street Shop – this was before cell phone cameras…gosh I didn’t even have a computer then!! This location had two entire walls of windows…no where to hang anything…hmmm that must have been tough for me!
Here’s a few more shots of The Whistling Elk at 9 Main Street.
Below is a shot taken at a Showhouse that we were invited to participate in – early 90’s. We painted Adirondack chairs for the pool area which was surrounded by a beautiful garden of rhododedrons…the chairs were painted a light blue to reflect the blue of the pool and had beautiful purple rhododendrons painted across the backs. It was a pretty effect!
Two years after I opened The Whistling Elk 44 Main Street became available and I was able to secure that wonderful location. 44 Main Street was about double the size of the 9 Main Street shop. This move entailed moving about 60 feet from the end of Main Street closer to the center of town.
I remember selling an iron canopy bed because someone drove by as we were walking the headboard down the street to the new shop. We were selling a tremendous number of beautiful hand wrought iron beds at the time. The iron beds were probably among the first larger pieces of furniture sold at The Whistling Elk.
Here’s a shot of the front of the 44 Main Street shop. On this particular evening in 2009 we were hosting our Charity Evening.
I remained at 44 Main Street for 21 years – it changed sizes a couple of times over that period going from 1800 to 3000 square feet. During that time we sold oh-so-many furniture lines along with accessories, artwork and mirrors and lighting. Many lines we still sell today. Sadly, some important vendors were lost due to the recession over the last 6 years. We are always adding new lines though so things are never dull at The Whistling Elk!
We have participated in many showhouses over the years…here’s a Showhouse photo taken sometime in the 90’s at a showhouse in Chester. The room was a garden room..I think it was called “Holiday in Paradise”…as I recall the event was in December.
I used a mop and a bucket of watered down green paint to swab the walls of this room…I was going for a watered silk look. The walls had cracks all over and I didn’t want to repair them so I used a feather to enhance and make them look like cracked marble. This was my second showhouse but it was the first time I did a whole room.
I regret that I have no pictures of the beautiful showhouse that I did with Patty Fastook a few years later called Brookwood…in Montclair. It was a spectacular room but somehow I lost the disk that housed the photos…*sigh*
Here are some shots of some of the beautiful merchandise that flowed through the shop over the last 25 years….
and by contrast here is the bedroom at 50 Main Street Today!
Below…our custom cabinetry model….a beautiful bookcase over cabinets with slider to hide the TV…we moved this piece from 44 Main Street and had it re-built into the 50 Main Street shop.
We had a lot of room at the 44 Main Street location so we had up to 9 sofas on the shop floor all the time…this is a beautiful Hancock and Moore sofa…and it looks beautiful in front the model of our custom cabinetry. We still carry Hancock and Moore and Caracole sofas today although it is definitely harder to display them! We are still creating beautiful custom bookcases and furniture for our customers today also.
Ah! and PARIS…who could forget our fabulous shopping trip to Paris and Les Puces de St. Ouen….we brought back so many beautiful pieces for the shop!
I still dream about all the beautiful items we had to leave behind at the Paris Flea Markets because there just wasn’t a container large enough (or a wallet for that matter) to bring them all back to the shop…
Then a little more than 2 years ago we moved again! This time the move was about 20 feet into the building right next to our old location at 44 Main Street.
I feel very blessed that I still see customers today at the 50 Main Street location who started shopping The Whistling Elk at the 9 Main Street store 25 years ago!!
Wow, that amazes me and I am so appreciative for the support of the community and also the whole state…and beyond! Customers come from all over New Jersey as well as from New York, Pennsylvania and as far as California & Europe! It even seems when people move they don’t forget you – they stop by and shop when they are back visiting…even when they have left the country!
Here are some shots of the 50 Main Street Location of The Whistling Elk…and I am not moving again!
You will still find lots and lots of amazing home accessories at the 50 Main Street shop!
We still carry sofas….the Caracole line is one of our favorites with great quality and fair prices – although we don’t always have room on the shop floor for one. This was one that we did squeeze in!
Over the years many merchandise lines have come and gone. There are some some products that we have carried for a very long time. Like Kennebunk Weavers (our famous throw blankets) – 25 years! and Mark Roberts Fairies – 20 years and Lampe Berger – 17 years! We still love them today!
Our Paint Couture!™ line of furniture and cabinet paints and glazes is new for us…and have been a wonderful addition to The Whistling Elk along with our Paint Workshops. Painted furniture though is something that has always graced the shop floor at The Whistling Elk…we were painting back in the 90’s when we opened!
I am also humbled by the 2007 Award the shop received – “one of 50 Stellar Stores – Nationwide from Home Accents Today Magazine. That was an honor I never saw coming but it was sweet. Here’s the link 50 Stellar Stores Nationwide in 2007 – Here’s a little bit about that from the press release at the time…
“CHESTER SHOP NAMED ONE OF TOP 50 RETAIL STORES
Chester, New Jersey – The Whistling Elk has been named one of Home Accents Today’s “50 Retail Stars” by editors of the premier trade magazine for the home accents industry. The Retail Stars List recognizes enterprising home accents retailers who are experiencing success in their respective markets with innovative strategies and creative merchandising while maintaining a strong presence in their communities.”
Very cool for The Whistling Elk!! One of my prouder moments!!
One thing is for sure…you will always find casual elegance at The Whistling Elk – It is interesting to me that in all this time I have never really changed my focus which was to provide “…distinctively different home furnishings and accessories…with an elegant European flair.”
Heres a nice frame with a shabby worn finish…it’s O.K.
But that is just it – for me its just o.k.
I know I can change it and make it better than just o.k.
What has happened to my humility????
I really love this about the Paint Couture Collection. Not only can you paint something that needs to be refinished but you can also transform ordinary objects into something more lovely, something that works better in your current décor environment.
Paint Couture!™ is like having a Toolbox Stuffed with Tools to Create Lovely!
I have always advised my clients: “If you run into the right object but its the wrong color and you can paint it….buy it – you could spend 10 years looking for the right object in the right color and never find it.”
Come and participate in one of our Paint Workshops at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ and learn how to Paint, Glaze, finish, stencil, gild and more. It’s fun and I guarantee you will put the knowledge to good use!