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!
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.”
Expect More of the Same Going Forward
Thank You So Much for 25 Wonderful Years!
This is one of my all time favorite Mark Roberts Christmas Fairies…
I just love him!
I was putting some of my fairies out around my home this year and realized just how much I still love Mark Roberts Fairies!
They are all adorable and make me smile which is a really good thing in this crazy world of ours.
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season with lots of smiles!
Happy New Year…and Peace on Earth!!!
How fun is a treeful of fairies?
Fairies and lollipops adorn this tree at The Whistling Elk!
First Frost, All Aboard and Xylophone Fairy are from the 2011 Mark Roberts Collection.
It’s hard to see Bah Humbug fairy in this picture – he’s hiding in the tree but you can sure see his sign!
In front of him is Dancin with the Stars Fairy and My Lucky Stars both very cute and colorful!
and sittin pretty in the tree is our very last Father Christmas Fairy….
Art Deco Fairy is riding high at the top of the tree!
Christmas Tree Fairy has a tree on his head…
he is hanging out near the tree with Chocolate Truffle Fairy!
I love the the Christmas Lights Fairy….he is adorable and i love that the 9″ fairy is holding a string of lights!
I think he might be my favorite this year…but i dont know yet because they have a tendancy to grow on you so i could change my mind at any time!
i do still like Bling Bling with his handful of pearls…
i guess i have the rest of the year to decide!
Mark Roberts Fairies have taken over the sales floor!
They always appear at The Whistling Elk this time of year adding sparkle and happiness to our home design shop!
This cute guy dancing on one foot is the Happy Halloween Fairy.
They are so cute….here’s Northwoods Fairy sporting fur for 2012!
The Gingerbread Fairy from the 2011 collection was so adorable that we have him again this year.
The Ice Capades Fairy 2012 is all dressed in White with Gold accents.
The Pixie is holding an ornament and trying to climb the Fairy Showcase!
Doestn’t he have the sweetest face?
The Holly Leaf Pixie has a devilish face…he is looking for trouble i think.
The Pastry Magicv Pixie is one of the few “girl” fairies in Mark’s Collection. She looks guilty here like she just ate all the pastry!
The Peppermint Dreams Fairy is in Mark’s “Large” size….so he is 20″ tall. Love his expression!
That little guy on the bottom right of the picture is Sleighbell…
Uh oh…Group Shot!
So lets see starting from the top left its Chocolate Truffle, Christmas Wishes, Drummer Boy Fairy (saluting) and by the way he has the cutest ears…
then comes Christmas in Tuscany, Peppermint Dreams, and on the bottom from the left is
Violinist Fairy, Tinsel Time, and Lollipop (2011).
There are so many more! I am trying to decide which is my favorite this year.
They are all so colorful and detailed. As always very Special!
THE WHISTLING ELK is adding a New Service
If you Love the Shop and want to receive special discounts and save on gasoline…well, now you can…
THE WHISTLING ELK IS GOING MOBILE!!
HOME PARTIES WITH THE WHISTLING ELK
You invite your friends for a fun shopping evening…
We bring lots of Whistling Elk merchandise to your home…
The more your friends buy the more you save!!!
CALL US TODAY FOR DETAILS AND BOOK YOUR PARTY!
Here’s a photo blog showing some of the products you can bring in for your exciting trunk show!
LoLLia is a line of fragranced personal products including soap, bath gel, perfume, bubble bath and shea butter handcreme.
It makes a great gift and we have 6 different scents!
Shelley Kyle makes amazing perfumes. We love them! There is also body creme, shimmer powder, handsoap and a dynamite body scrub.
We love the various scents – my favorite is McClendon which is a citrus based deliciously light fragrance. Mmmmmm
We have carried silverplate serving accessories in the shop for many many years.
Our most popular sellers are the cheese sets, ice scoops, tart servers and cocktail picks.
We usually pair these up with our beautiful french tea towels and Tea Forte teas – making a great gift!
LoLLia recently introduced these wonderful candles. There are many different scents and the packaging is beautiful….
I am addicted to the one called “Another Quiet Day” – it is sitting in my living room and the scent actually wafts thru
the room without my even having to light it! Fabulous!
Our throw blankets are a best seller for us! Everyone loves them….there are lots of colors and styles.
They are warm but light – very luxurious and drape beautifully. I cannot live without at least three or four in my living room.
We have quite a collection of La Vie Parisienne jewelry. It is well priced and made using antique Parisian molds so the chains are verry interesting and
elaborate. Lots of charms, crystals and ooh la la style. Their use of enamel is beautifully done. It’s a very special line!
Love, love, love
Inexpensive gift books are sprinkled thoughout our shop. Along with beautiful little note pads.
It’s the thought that counts!
Lampe Berger !!! What could be better than fragrancing your home with a product that also acts as an air purifier?
The lampes are beautiful and the scents too numerous to mention….a must for every home.
I am enchanted by pillow mist….even since i discovered it. Its so wonderful to float off to sleep with a soft fragrance.
We carry Lothantique, Emelie and Melanie and a special bottled Lavendar….
I AM fragrances are a fun new addition to our product mix….
Lots of different scents with fun names….they are sure to give you a giggle and will fit nicely into any size purse.
Mark Roberts Fairies are unique. Charming. You will find them irresistible!
We have a HUGE collection!
So, you can decide what you’d like to include for your home party – trunk show. We’ll mix it up and present it beautifully for you and your friends!
It may be cold and windy outside today
but it is warm and beautiful and cozy inside Little Paris….and today is the big day!
the GRAND OPENING PARTY!!
We put a pretty christmas tree in
our Paris B oudoir decorated in pinks, blues and silvery garlands!
We’ll be serving champage, madeleines and petite palmiers
tonight at the Party. Ooh la la!
The Bling Bling Fairy from Mark Roberts 2010 Fairy Collection
sits atop our tree clutching his handful of pearls and sparkly jewels!
We always close on Halloween and decorate for Christmas…its our tradition!
I always enjoy taking out all the new merchandise – you see we buy it in January and it ships to us in June…
we open it, price it and then have to put it away until Halloween! Then we bring it all out and voila – its Christmas!
I love all the glitter and the rich colors.
I always buy a lot of little trees. Somehow they just appeal to me and i guess you
can just put them anywhere so they are fun to decorate with.
This year we have a lot s different colors and styles….reds, greens, golds and even some beautiful silver
trees which i will post soon…
Our Mark Roberts Fairies, Sprites and Santas are taking over the shop
such charming little devils!
This fellow is the Father Christmas Santa. He is so elegant – we just love his beautiful coat. He is actually a
2010 Limited Edition Mark Roberts Santa but we brought him back this year.
Such amazing details!
This little charmer is the Christmas Gathering Fairy and he is also from the Mark Roberts
Limited Edition 2010 collection. But dont worry we have almost all the 2011 Fairies
too….i will be posting pictures of them hanging out in the shop!
I have been buying Mark Roberts Fairies since around 1997…and i must say they just keep