HouseHunters, Hampstead.

I have just begun dreaming again. One night, I dreamed nothing but hues of pink. The entire dream, as it were, was seen through rose-hued glasses and it has been two weeks now and I am still completely obsessed with pink. THAT is boring but I say this to explain that the last 6 months have been so bewildering it took my brain this long to even remember how to dream. Once we had edged hopefully into 2019, suddenly there was a downpour of cancer-stricken friends and babies… babies everywhere! The wonderful news is everyone has made it through the scary zone and friends are doing much better and I have gotten to see almost ALL the babies-we seem to be rounding a corner into a happier Spring. While all this was being tended to, we held with tradition and began a new phase of growth for our business. February 1st of last year we closed on the market and this February we began work on The Little House!

We actually got the lease on the charming Little House back in November but dear Florence pushed everything back and back and so here we are doing the Spring Scramble to scoot into residence now. But oh! the twinkling things that have happened while we have been filling this little happy house. Are you in the mood for a meandering story full of star-crossed connections? Good!

(on a side note, I went into a grocery store for the first time last week since we lost the market and I was so, so sad. I know get over it, and yet…………………. no, I have NOT been starving my family. Just shopping creatively or sending ye olde husband in my stead.)

I get attached to an odd assortment of things. Perhaps blame the “Brave Little Toaster” or “Mandy” or “A Little Princess” or “The Secret Garden”, I don’t know. I have an Astoria Espresso Machine that was the first machine I ever trained on and I don’t care what anyone thinks it makes the BEST espresso. And so… when I was going to open my very first store downtown Wilmington 100,000 years ago, I combed Craigslist for an espresso machine. You know how we roll; reuse, recycle, haunt Habitat Restore religiously – as we had no budget or loan to open a store. So frugal was the name of the game; and lo and behold, the very espresso machine I plucked from a storage unit in Hampstead was the VERY SAME MACHINE!!!! Fast forward to moving the shop to the Island from Wilmington and it became glaringly apparent that the little machine would not be able to keep up with volume in the summer and we had to upgrade to a bigger (but still used) Astoria.

Switching gears slightly, you all know Claudia, yes? She makes the enchanting signs we have tucked around the stores, has the famous Claudia Crackers, does the window displays and has the cutest baby clothes ever upstairs? Well, Claudia worked in the Little House when it was the Silver Peddler AND Claudia worked with me (though she had forgotten :)) at Beauchaine’s (the old one at the South End.)

Have you seen the beautiful MsElaineous pottery? Well, I have loved her pottery since Donna and Barry had Brown Dog Coffee. You see when I was growing up in Burgaw, Barry was the postmaster and then when they bought Brown Dog I did their baking and got to buy Elaine’s mugs BUT Donna FOUND out about MsElaineous pottery when she purchased the pottery at THE LITTLE HOUSE when it was Snickerdoodles Ice Cream shop a long time ago!

Did I mention the 2 Paulas? I have 2 magical Paula friends – one the result of a long -standing farmer’s market friendship with her noble canine, the other a result of my Williams-Sonoma days. Both are darling, fascinating gals and within 2 weeks they are both landing in houses ON THE SAME BLOCK, across the street from The Little House.

Oh and the Susan Branch Mugs! Have been smitten forever and we make every kindred spirit read her books and subscribe to her bloghttps://www.susanbranch.com/2019/03/21/spring-fling-going-to-williamsburg/

But this year, when they sent me the order preview for retail shops one of the mugs happens to be :

Because you KNOW Hampstead, NC was named after Hampstead, UK. And so will allow us to indulge in High Teas now and again; as well as a healthy dose of Jane Eyre and Jemima Puddleduck and J.K. Rowling!

In a happy convergence of friendship and craftsmanship, the little Astoria is back home in The Little House, MsElaineous pottery is gracing the shelves, Susan Branch Little House Mugs are on the way, we will have 2 Paula’s and the delightful, creative Claudia will be there occasionally to make everything justttt right! Oh, and pink. Inordinate, unexplainable, embarrassing amounts of pink.

That’s your update on The Little House! There is a wine tasting at Sugar Island this Saturday from 12-4, plus handing out our Easter Menus, Sandy Toes will be having $10 table sales, Pelican Sno-Balls has reopened, Southern Emporium has some of the CUTEST new baby outfits for Spring, the Skating Rink reopened, QuarterMoon hired one of our favorite customers, Ally for their weekends, Shaka Taco opened back up, Herrings Sporting Goods got in the prettiest spring bikes, Inlet Blue is having their Grand Opening Friday night and EMA is almost back open!

The Island, plus the concrete monster known as:

“TheBridgewithawkwardroundaboutsandnobodyknowswhatyieldmeans”

is getting back to normal as fast as a sea turtle getting released out to sea.

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