Going Metal

Fashion accessories take a shine to shine.

Going Metal
Fashion accessories take a shine to shine.
Photograph by Luigi Ciuffetelli

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 Silver headband, $5, at Piccolino, Lewes


Lucite bangles (left to right) silver with rhinestones, $131; squared bronze, $68;silver-blue, $50; squared gold, $68, all by Alexis Bittar, at L Boutique, Greenville  


Orchard phone case by Brighton, $53, at Lady’s Image, Wilmington and Hockessin   

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Handbag by Thrival Handbags, $18, at Piccolino, Lewes  


Silver peep-toe pump by LuLu Guiness, $345, at Peter Kate Shoes, Greenville


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Affairs crackled gold pump by Poetic Licence, $102, at Hula Sue, Rehoboth Beach   


Silver clutch by Irá Salles Bahia, $210, at Peter Kate Shoes, Greenville  


Silver-ringed and leather-strapped belt, $150, at Honey Kamali, Greenville  


Leather belt with silver Lucite buckle by Alexis Bittar, $ 345, at L Boutique, Greenville




Mary Walls

Greetings from Milford
One woman’s hand-made cards become a sensation.

 Mary Walls of Milford cared enough to send the very best, so she created a few greeting cards in October 2006. Then everybody wanted one. Within a week, Walls was selling the cards in a Milford boutique. Three months later, they hit 30 stores, and the 10 styles Walls started with ballooned to 150. Within a year, her creations were available at 60 stores in six states.

Whirlwind success like that could swell an ego, but not Walls’. “We’re farmers,” she says. “We live out in the country. All this stuff doesn’t faze me a whole lot because I’m just not that kind of person.”

She is the kind of person, however, who can ride the tide. Next month, her three card collections—Primitive Expressions, Seaside Edition and Classic—will be featured at her simplynicegifts.com. New products—custom invitations, party favors, napkins, paper plates, candles and magnets—will also debut.

Customers won’t be able to buy online, but the site will list the stores they can buy from—40 in Delaware alone, from North Wilmington to Ocean City, Maryland. Wall’s cards start at $5 a pack.

And it all started with a watercolor of an apple and a cider jug that Walls had painted for her mother. When other family members took notice, they requested she duplicate the image. Walls scanned it, added text, printed laser copies, then cut and folded what became her first card. She was as surprised as anyone that it became a lucrative business.

Walls’ process hasn’t changed, but she has had to put her graduate studies at Wilmington University aside for awhile. She’s too busy designing, writing and distributing the cards from her home. “But I have hired six sales reps,” she says. One represents Delaware. The other five cover Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia.

Walls also travels to trade and craft shows to promote Simply Nice Gifts “We’ll just have to wait and see if I need to go bigger,” she says. “It’s only been a year, so we’ll just take everything as it comes.”           —Maria Hess


Delaware Made General Store

Keeping it Local
Delaware gifts abound. You just need to know where to find them.

 Be honest: The only person who really wants a Delaware snow globe at the holidays is the uncle who now lives in Kansas City and needs it to finish his 50 states collection. Most of us are looking for something a bit more, um, authentic. Here’s where you can find those unique Diamond State gifts that go beyond cheap tchotchkes, a brick of scrapple or a GoreTex parka.

Roadside produce stands offer a rich bounty of Delaware’s agricultural products during the growing season, but you can find a full range of local jams, jellies and local honey at Delaware Made General Store (214 S. State St., Dover, 736-1419), where co-owner Tom Smith is always on the lookout for items of local interest. The store also features just about every Delaware-related and -inspired piece of sculpture, painting or item of clothing imaginable, as does the Delaware Visitor Center & Galleries (

406 Federal St., Dover

, 739-4266).

Though coffee is by no means native to Delaware (let alone the United States), Delaware City Coffee Company (704 Fifth St., Delaware City, 832-3303), custom roasts its own beans (many of which are fair-trade varieties) and makes them available to retailers in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The First State is also blessed with local practitioners of the tippling arts, such as Dogfish Head Brewery (

511 Chestnut St., Milton

, 684-1000) and Nassau Valley Vineyards (

32165 Winery Way

, Lewes, 645-9463) for the finest in home-state made beers, spirits and apparel, as well as wines, respectively.

The products of Delaware craftspeople, meanwhile, are widely available, thanks to the state-sponsored Delaware By Hand initiative and affiliated galleries like The Stepping Stone (107 W. Market St., Lewes, 645-1245), Newark Arts Alliance (100 Elkton Road, Newark, 266-7266) and Heidi Lowe Jewelry Studio (328 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, 227-9203).

Can’t shop without buying a T-shirt? Visit Marsha’s (

112 Front St.

, Lewes, 644-4400) for one of Marsha Holler’s unique, Delaware-inspired graphic tees or totes. —Scott Pruden

Our Excellence in Nursing Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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