Of all the posts I planned for this series, this has been the hardest one to write. Have you ever had so many thoughts that all want to be heard at the same time, where there's gridlock in the brain?
Have written about my fondness for whimsy before, and the simple truth is, I am crazy about this place. Don't want to have this read as blather; but just can't imagine a more aptly-named gift store than Whimsies Incognito.
Whether you are scrambling for a last-minute hostess gift, or just haven't found that something special for that someone special, there is something wonderful here for everyone.
Since first opening in downtown Tarrytown NY almost 30 years ago, and outgrowing 2 different storefronts on Main Street, they are now located in their biggest location, right around the corner at 35 South Broadway.
Jacqueleen Golabek, the owner explains, it just evolved as she was trying to figure out what she wanted to do 'when she grew up'.
My pictures don't do the store any justice, but it's a sensory feast. There is vibrant color and textures everywhere you look, and thoughtful, creative displays that beckon, and draw you in.
Unusual, finely hand-crafted gifts are their specialty. Whimsies represents about 500 vendors; some local, but most in the US, the others through Fair Trade. Recycled, and creatively re-purposed materials are prominent.
From the top: a hand-painted wood fish clock with lovely pewter details ($105.00), wooden cheese tray and slicer sets with laser-cut details at either end ($28.-38.00) and quite an array of multi-colored hand-blown glass hummingbird feeders ($65.00).
Look closely at tree to the right, and you'll see hand-strung bottle-cap garlands on the tree ($22.00 for 3 feet). Below, figures of all nationalities holding hands encircle a round mirror, laser cut, then hand-detailed Hatian oil drum art ($100.00 )
Colorful weathered turquoise shutters have been re-purposed to display the handmade pewter and ceramic switch plates (starting at $20.00 for single switch/ceramic), and depression-glass plates are set into stained glass and framed ($98.00).
The printed word is also very important here. A 2011 quote-a-month calendar starts the New Year boldly proclaiming "HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF, AND IN THE FUTURE". ($13.00...I bought 6-how could I not??).
Ceramic squares with simple images that proclaim 'peacable' ( 3" x 3", $30.00 each), a metal switch plate cover that states, in all different fonts-"Home is where you are happy" ($28.00).
Handmade jewelry, crewel belts from Guatemala, the list goes on. I have shopped at stores that have tried this model before, but none ever came close to succeeding like this.
Walking through, the store is a balm to the jangled-out soul. The care that has gone into selecting and displaying the merchandise is palatable, but never overdone or cliched.
Those lucky enough to live nearby, go-even make an afternoon of it. Very walkable, the downtown is full of great places to relax and have a bite to eat. Your gift worries will be over, and your heart will be happy.