The Crane Museum now has a retail shop to pick up note cards and other Crane products.
DALTON, Mass. — The Crane Museum of Papermaking opens a new retail store on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Housed in what was formerly Crane's stainless steel fabrication shop, the space has been transformed into 500 square feet of retail, which is accessed through the museum.
"We're very excited about this project," said Crane Museum Director Peter Hopkins. "Almost without fail, visitors to the museum want to purchase Crane stationery. We're pleased to bring them a generous assortment."
The store is stocked with dozens of Crane's engraved holiday cards, as well as initial notes and cards, thank-you notes and a mix-and-match bordered stationery and envelope table. The table itself was once used by a Crane borderer. It features many stocking-stuffer items and hard-to-find Crane stationery.
The opening also marks the return of Crane's Old Money list pads, made with recycled U.S. currency paper. Crane has supplied the United States with currency paper since 1879.
"We see this space as somewhere between a museum store and a factory outlet," said Hopkins. "Everything we have is available at significant discounts."
The store hours will coincide with those of the museum, which for the first time, will be open year-round. Regular hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m. In anticipation of the holiday season, the museum and store will be open Friday, Nov. 29, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and every Wednesday before Christmas until 7 p.m.
The Crane Museum is housed in what was the rag room of Crane's Old Stone Mill, built in 1844. It is located off West Housatonic Street behind Crane's Main Office. For GPS purposes, use West Housatonic Street, and you will see signs.
Decor Store With Local Motives Opens In North Adams
By John Durkan iBerkshires Staff
Ashley Priester poses in front of her storefront with her 'child' and store mascot Scarlett.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ashley Priester took her passion for locally produced crafts and has channeled that into a small business.
Her store, AP Home Decor and More, located at 10 Ashland St., opened on Monday and on Saturday will have its grand opening.
Priester said the idea for a store came about as her house began to run out of room for crafting and friends encouraged her to open a business. Renee Tassone, owner of Eat to Total Health, encouraged Priester to take a chance at the spot next door to her business.
"I just went for it," Priester said.
Aside from her candles, the shop currently includes products — jewelry, quilts, massage oils, jams, artwork and knitted hats — from different vendors from around the county — including Katie's Custom Jewelry, Cheshire Cat Creations, Sentient Skin Care, Tanya's Country Kitchen and Angela's Sock Cupcakes and More. Priester said when the store fills up it will feature 40 different artisans.
Even the store's displays are locally made, handcrafted by Corey's Country Creations based in Cheshire.
"It's definitely about keeping stuff local," Priester said.
Prices on items vary. Generally, most cost under $20 — the candles are $6.25 for a 4 ounces and $12 and for an 8 ounce, most jewelry ranges from $5 to $15. Some of the higher-end items, such as quilts, paintings and crystal jewelry, cost more than $50.
The store also features pieces from younger artisans, and will sell work Duct-tape flower pens by Hope and Hannah Blake who attend Clarksburg Elementary School.
Candles can also be made in customized containers.
"I'm looking to get as much unique [items] in the store as possible," Priester said.
Priester dived into her candle-making hobby about four years ago and began selling to friends and at craft fairs. She decided on soy candles after researching the process because soy wax burns slower and is easier to clean than paraffin wax; She said to clean soy wax you just need a wet towel. Priester also said soy wax burns cooler, and is safe to touch. The wicks, too, are cleaner, she said, as she opted to make them with cotton wicks instead of lead.
On Saturday, the grand opening will feature specials and sales with vendors on hand, raffles and massages from Circle of Life.
Every month, there will also be raffles for customers, whether its just stopping in, purchasing a product or reviewing their visit on the store's Facebook page. Priester also hopes host vendor parties and ladies' nights.
She's still figuring out more marketing plans, but plans to team up with other small businesses in the immediate area for a coupon book.
The store accepts cash, card and check, and is open Monday and Wednesday from 10 to 5:30, and Thursday though Saturday from 10 to 7.
Caligari Opens Luxury Linens Store in Great Barrington
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — William Caligari has opened Linen, a luxury linens store, at 105 Main St.
"Linen is bringing a carefully selected line of leading international and European fabrics to the Berkshires," said Caligari. "We believe that the market for really beautiful home furnishings in the region was calling out for this."
Linen will be working closely with sister company The Drapery Workroom, a full-service fabrication studio, at 85 Main St. in providing customers with access to custom alteration, monogramming and design services for the home. Store hours for Linen are Wednesday through Saturday 10 to 5. More information is available by calling 413-429-8005 or on the website.
William Caligari Interiors is a full-service commercial and residential interior design firm specializing in residential interiors, spa and hospitality properties, and commercial interiors. It recently completed work on the Crane AP 2.0 project for the Technical Materials division of Crane in Dalton.
Denim Depot's Grand Opening Set for Feb. 2
By John Durkan iBerkshires Staff
Tom Quinton shows his products at Denim Depot, which will open on Saturday.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Tom Quinton's soon-to-be-open Denim Depot sets to offer an "affordable alternative" to high-price denim.
"It's a type of thing most people can appreciate," Quinton, a North Adams native, said of his roughly 600 square-foot store located at the Oasis Plaza on the corner of Ashland Street and American Legion Drive.
The shop's grand opening is set for Saturday, Feb. 2, with store hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The initial regular hours will be from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 to 5, but Quinton said he'll be considering offering later hours on certain days, like Thursday.
"I'm going to get a feel for what the customers want," Quinton said.
Quinton's store offers new and gently worn denim products, which includes men's, women's and children shorts, pants and jackets, as well as handbags and toddler clothes. Quinton hopes to offer more denim products as time goes on.
The products range from $8-$15. Quinton explained the prices are cheaper than other retail outlets because most of his stock comes from store closeouts and factory seconds — clothes that have defects, usually minor, such as slightly improper stitching.
On opening day, Denim Depot will have a buy two, get one half-priced sale (of up to equal-value) for jeans. Quinton said he's flexible with making deals on quantity.
"I'll do my best to make everyone happy," Quinton said.
In addition, Quinton said the shop will buy denim items, as a chance for the shop to pick up on inventory and for others to make an extra couple bucks for their unwanted clothing.
Quinton hopes the location of his low-price denim shop attracts customers who frequent the nearby shops — Angelina's Sub Shop and Whitney's Beverage Store for example — as well as college students looking for a cheap pair of jeans.
Quinton said he doesn't expect the store to be "a big money maker," but aims for it to be sustainable.
"Jeans just seem to be a staple in everybody's wardrobe," Quinton said.
North Adams Shop Offers Geological 'Treasures'
Staff Reports iBerkshires
Update, Oct. 11, 2012: The rock shop closed Oct. 5 after being open less than a month. Owner Marcia Brown told the North Adams Transcript that a lack of paying customers led her to shut the doors before getting into financial trouble.
Marcia Brown is opening Berkshire Geological Treasures in the Oasis Plaza. The shop features stones, crystals, fossils and related merchandise. Saturday's grand opening features free raffles.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For years, Marcia Brown and her husband, Mark, have been bringing interesting bits of the planet back from their vacations.
Now they've turned their hobby into a business — Berkshire Geological Treasures. The shop in the Oasis Plaza on American Legion Drive opens Saturday at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting and free raffles.
"There's nothing like this in the area," said Brown on Friday. "It's something my husband and I have thought about for a couple years."
The shop offers treasures such as geodes, fossils and agates, children's items like a dinosaur "dig" kit, and Lucite merchandise from jewelry to staplers with real bugs trapped inside.
Overseeing the little shop is door-greeter Matthew, a mannikin clad in treasure-digging gear. (Her husband's idea, said Brown.)
"We haven't had gone out digging, but every time we're on the beach or walking in the woods we're picking up rocks or looking for crystal," said Brown. That includes trips they make to California a couple times a year. It's become such a tradition that their children and grandchildren are always eager to see what they've brought back.
The shop itself was put together in about two weeks, after Brown learned that T&T Tailors had left the plaza. The store was approved by the Redevelopment Authority on Monday night.
"It was a lot of work but we're excited," said Brown.
The store is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 to 7; Sunday, noon to 6; and Monday and Tuesday, 10 to 4.
Brown thinks the location is a good one — both Boston Sea Foods and Whitney's Liquors draw a lot of traffic.
"We've had people just walking in curious as to what's going on," said Brown. "I had to tell them we're not open yet."