At the Little Treasure Shoppe, visitors will find such retail delights as handmade greeting cards, bohemian-style beaded necklaces and a stained-glass panel depicting a sailboat on a shimmering blue lake.
Debuting last December off South Main Street in Newark, the collaborative venue brings together artists, artisans, curators and vendors who offer goods to dress up homes and the people who live in them.
The entrepreneur leading the effort is Sandi Patterson, who many shoppers will remember as the founder of Clothes from the Past Lane, a destination for TOMS shoes, vintage garments and accessories. Patterson ran the boutique first from an indie storefront on East Main Street before relocating to a shared space with a blow-dry bar. In 2014, she made the transition from brick-and-mortar to selling online.
But Patterson missed the personal touch. In launching her latest venture, Gypsy Rose, a purveyor of upcycled vintage jewelry, she decided to embrace a new model, an emporium of sellers who would share space and benefit from the symbiosis of one-stop shopping.
“I was looking and looking for a space and thought, hey, why don’t I open my own place?” she says.
Patterson found it in a 975-square-foot store on West Park Place. Readily accessible from South Main, her Little Treasure Shoppe is easy to find by virtue of its funky neon flashing sign. Shoppers also benefit from abundant free parking on either side of the building, a rarity in Newark when the University of Delaware is in session.
“We wanted to be off Main Street so people can have better access to parking,” she says. “We want to make it pleasant for people to visit us.” As such, she also has coffee brewing all the time.
The shop has attracted such notables as Beverly Bosik, the gifted Hockessin painter and mixed media artist. Holly Yoder of Landenberg Bee Company sells locally produced honey. Betsy and Brad Conlan, who built a devoted following at craft fairs, offer pottery. LeeLee Owen, who manages the store, specializes in rejuvenated furniture. Prices range from $10 for beaded earrings to hundreds of dollars for painted furniture, large stained-glass panels and original art.
“It’s very cozy, very eclectic, a blend of vintage, new and art. We are adorable.”
—Sandi Patterson, owner
Patterson describes the mix succinctly: “It’s very cozy, very eclectic, a blend of vintage, new and art. We are adorable.”
So far, more than 20 merchants are offering their wares, selling such one-of-a-kind goods as duck calls, potted plants, art photography, charcuterie boards and macramé home décor. Patterson continues to accept applications from vendors and is developing further enticements, including art classes and open-house events with wine and cheese. Look for the venue on Newark’s First Friday art loop.
“We are having an artist of the month so people can get to know us better,” Patterson says. “We want to be that destination that people come to again and again.”