One day in December last year, in the middle of the usual hurries of holiday season, a thoughtful customer grabbed me wanting to know the animal symbol on Chinese calendar of the coming year. It's the year of the horse, I told her, after a quick calculation in my mind. She then proceeded to find a horse ornament for her Christmas tree. This awakened me to some inner reflection; not so much about the horse, but the new year of 2014 will bring in the 25th anniversary of my store Enchantments.
It was 25 years ago, in 1989, after I graduated from the American Studies program at Seton Hall University, that I wanted to explore a creative way to apply what I learned in books to a real job. To some people this may sound far- fetched, but I found setting up a small gift shop gave me all kinds of opportunities to encounter people and different aspects of cultures to enrich what I learned in school. In other words, I found it rewarding.
What was the benefit of opening a little shop in a small town of Fanwood that many people (including myself) didn't even know existed? It turned out interested people in town do notice you right away. They are people who are tasteful, cultural savvy, and with charismatic personalities eager to see a unique gift shop featured on their Main Street.
I would never forget the first group of lady patrons who made their entrance to Enchantments, acknowledging that a small business like mine stood a chance to succeed. Mrs. Savage visited often wanting to see what's new in the jewelry case, Mrs. Riccardi loves, still to this day, long earrings to match her beautiful outfits, and sweet Bev, as we now are accustomed to calling her, always appears radiant in her thoughtfulness while choosing a proper gift for someone. And there are so many more...
In the year 2014, I want to dedicate a tree of enchantments to commemorate our 25 years of growing, adorned with an overly of faces of people and events I have been so fortunate to encounter in those years. It will be a beautiful tree with many stories I love to share with you.
Next time you want to make a memory, come see us at Enchantments.
Enchantments is a delightful shop in downtown Fanwood that specializes in unique gifts, handmade jewelry, and hand made American Crafts. Owner Helen Ling has created a truly "enchanting" experience for the avid shopper. Enchantments is located at 234 South Ave. in Fanwood. Call (908) 322-6161 or visit www.enchantmentsnj.com.
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