CHATHAM, NJ - The official opening wasn't until 10 a.m., but shoppers were waiting outside Chatham's newest addition to Main Street, the Purple Aardvark, when co-owner Carolyn Cherry arrived at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday.
"I opened up and made my first sale at 9:30 a.m.," Cherry said.
Cherry and business partner Sandy Casey are both longtime Chatham residents and the shop was packed with well-wishers and shoppers looking for unique gifts. The store, located at 240 Main St., near the corner of Passaic Avenue, is filled with hand-made and re-purposed products made by American Artisans.
"This is going to be constantly evolving," Casey said. "There will be new items coming in every week from different artists, and as the seasons change."
The shop is stocked with items that Casey and Cherry think will be of interest to Chatham residents. There are no imports from China. only American made items, such as initial necklaces, hand-knitted sweaters, mittens and hats, candles made out of wine bottles, New Jersey Christmas ornaments, just to touch on a few examples of the wide variety.
"I think there was a real need for a gift store here," Cherry said. "and I think people do care about things being made in America. I think that's important. A lot of these people I met through Fishawack and I know how hard they work. I wanted to give them an outlet to sell their products."
The Purple Aardvark will be open seven days a week during the month of December. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.