On Saturday, September 3rd, after months of planning and weeks of prepping, I ceremoniously unlocked the door and flipped the sign to “OPEN”. Wit & Whimzy was officially in business, the new kid on the block (or at least on Front Street). I hadn’t expected a throng of visitors crowding over the threshold, but neither had I expected a parade. Yep, the opening of Wit & Whimzy occurred just as the Labor Day parade made its way down Front Street. It became obvious that my first hour in business would be customer-free, so I took the time to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds. Watching a small town parade from the stoop of my very own shop? This was going to be a great journey!
The first week exceeded my expectations. It was Labor Day weekend and the week before Sternwheel Festival, Marietta’s highlight event of the year. The sidewalks were busy with local residents and out of town visitors alike, everyone enjoying the weather and the charm of this river city. Not only did I have actual customers, but I also got to hear wonderful comments and compliments about our town and the people.
If you don’t already know, my mission is to offer artisan created and USA made products for your home, wardrobe and lifestyle. Many items are made right here in Ohio, others are sourced from around the country. Leather goods from Milwaukee, candles from Georgia, baby items from Oregon, ties from Detroit—one of the most satisfying aspects of the shop is discovering this amazing network of home grown talent.
There is a genuine distinction between mass produced items and those crafted by individuals or grassroots small businesses. The materials used in the latter sometimes have their own unique value; sometimes the story behind the item adds to its appeal. A Columbus jewelry maker uses musical instruments- cymbals, guitar strings, instrument keys –to create beautiful one of a kind pieces. One vendor uses old barn wood to create clocks, another reclaims barn wood to make gorgeous furniture. These elements ensure that some items are truly unique, no two exactly alike. Other items produced in bulk such as greeting cards and prints are still designed and created by individual artists who put their own thoughts and personalities in print.
Sternwheel weekend has come and gone, and Wit & Whimzy is 10 days old as I write this. If you discovered the shop through Instagram, Facebook, or simply by walking past the door—thank you! Please follow along, and join me for this ride. Together we can discover new artists, support US small businesses and find unique quality goods to give and keep.