Friday, August 21, 2009

Hits and Misses from East Coast Trip Aug 09

Little towns are always worth exploring.
Here's my favorite find from this trip...The Zrike Outlet at 271 Wanaque Ave, the main drag in Pompton Lakes, NJ.
Sorry no shipping... you have to come on by.
We saw the display outside and wandered in... and next thing I know I've bought more there than anywhere else on the trip. Great kitchen and homeware items... stuff that ususally goes to high end retailers with names like Bloomers and Needless Markup... but here it was bargain priced. Products from Disney, Kellogs, Konitz, Tracy Porter, David Tutera & Woolrich. Dish sets with 1950s cereal box art (Tony the Tiger as a retro astronaut on your cereal bowl).... lots of animation themed items.... beautiful picture frames.... and a terrific new friend. Hi Ric! I really wanted the doormat w/ the crab on it (I loved the mixed message of the written "welcome" and the image. What could it mean? We welcome you, even if you're crabby? You're welcome here, but we're crabby?).. what a hoot.




Here's some shots from other stops ....

You never know what might be waiting inside a local shop or gallery....


Not to mention sites you won't see anywhere else..




A law office with a historical graveyard...










Some advice to live by....



Another smash hit was this little shop "Picky Paws" in Lambertville, NJ, with lots of cute toys for dogs and cats:





We had some misses on this trip too..

Several times we missed bookstores we would have LOVED to have shopped. In one case, the store opened at noon, but we arrived at 11:30 AM, and even though we could see people inside the store, and they could see us, they didn't open the door and we couldn't stay until noon. Now we realize that one of the pleasures of having your own small business is that you control your time (sort of, you're also on call 24/7).... but to miss out on this neat looking little shop made us sad :(



We were trained in the "old school" world of booksellers, where a love of books and browsing was part of the joy of the trade. When we started scouting decades ago, wandering into a store meant making new friends, and getting tips about local sites, restaurants, etc. We were always made to feel welcome and encouraged to browse and learn about the stock.

The internet has allowed more access to books, but we are losing that "hands-on" tradition...

There are fewer brick and mortar stores, even in small towns.

It's harder to see books in person, and learn from the books and other booksellers

One bookseller Stuart contacted told him that their books online were not available to be seen, even though they advertised they were open by appointment.

We didn't realize what a unique service we provide in making our showroom available for visitors. We like seeing you and talking with you about the books. It's FUN! Come visit us... we have a comfy chair to sit in, and a toy box for kids.... and a restroom! We have a list of restaurants nearby in a range of prices.
You never know where the road might take you.... we hope yours includes a stop in Torrance :)


3 comments:

wreathmiccreations said...

It sounds like you visited alot of neat places in NJ! I'm so glad that Zrike moved right next door to my office because I love talking to Ric and visiting his store (cool stuff)--he is so upbeat and friendly and so enthusiastic about bringing back the small town atmosphere. He is always promoting Pompton Lakes and he sends me customers too! I have a small business making floral arrangements and wreaths which I display at my office. Pompton Lakes is a great little town and is in the process of a redevelopment project for the downtown so next time you are around come visit us again! Georgy

aw said...

Thanks so much for this great comment! It's wonderful to be part of the world of small businesses out there... and a great reason to visit small towns like Pompton Lakes, which I ADORE for its history, and the great people there now. We'll be back :)

aw said...

Thanks so much for this great comment! It's wonderful to be part of the world of small businesses out there... and a great reason to visit small towns like Pompton Lakes, which I ADORE for its history, and the great people there now. We'll be back :)