Vantage Through A Curio


Retailers are always on the lookout for changes: What will be the next “hot” color be or the newest designing trend?

Seasons come and go quickly, but at Enchantments, I try hard to slow time down, so that people take a moment to enjoy the beauty of craftsmanship an artist tried to express through the spectrum of colors and individual designs.

I try to do this with the help of some wonderful pieces of antique furniture that are used to display the works of artisans.  For example, I bought a Victorian style curio cabinet soon after I opened house popular antique replica jewelry.  Those vintage pieces truly come to life in the right milieu, and people naturally gravitate toward that corner of the store to admire the beauty of the era.

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Another piece is a mail sorting shelf with many slots that an antique dealer told me came from an old general store that also functioned also as a post office, which was often the case many years ago.  I made many cushioned cards, each pinned with a brooch, deftly fitted into each slot.  Admiring this aged fixture, I often wonder where that general store used to be? Could it be located in a small town very much like Fanwood? Would people gather there chatting while they shopped for special occasions, just like my customers often do in my store?

Any business owner must also embrace change.  Since Enchantments opened 25 years ago, we have moved from an old lumber yard into a newly constructed building and embraced new technology, such as our active Facebook page. But deep down in my heart, there are images and values instilled in time that seemly never change. Those are part of the small town lifestyle we are so fortunate still be able to live in, here in Fanwood and Scotch Plains.

I hope you enjoy our downtown.  It's truly a privilege to have a town center to walk about, meet friends, and do some shopping.  For those of you who remember when I first brought the Victorian curio cabinet in my store, I want to extend a sincere thank you -- because you obviously have been a patron with Enchantments for a long time.

This year we will celebrate our 25 years in Fanwood.  I am proud to be a part of our community.

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

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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