Dovey Carson expanded her vintage offerings at The Doveâ€™s Nest and finds that they attract customers to the shop, which she opened as a stationery store. Diversification has added jewelry, soaps and candles, candy, and espresso to her stationery and personal paper goods. Photo by Sandra Frykholm
by Sandra Frykholm
For the Sequim Gazette
Dovey Carson observes her customers and knows what to expect. â€œThe women come here,â€ she says, indicating a corner filled with vintage china, linens and jewelry. â€œThe men go to the candy.â€
Carson, owner of The Doveâ€™s Nest, took over the candy and espresso from the previous tenant at 139 W. Washington St. in Sequim, when she moved her stationery shop two years ago. â€œIt was so much bigger than the other place, I needed to fill it up,â€ she said.
The vintage corner, visible through the front window, attracts a lot of interest and the lookers often become shoppers. Carson works with Doris Vitello to keep an interesting variety of vintage items on hand. They range from embroidered flour sack dish towels to a 1930s typewriter with case and original instruction books, china teacups to bedspreads in Colonial Williamsburg patterns.
Some of the items are consigned, and Carson said, â€œI have people every day asking if I sell things on consignment.â€ She often takes a simpler approach. â€œIf itâ€™s something I think will sell, I usually just buy it,â€ she said.
Carsonâ€™s love of the written word and the personal touch of hand-written letters motivated her to start a stationery store and her passion is reflected in her own vintage collection of inkwells, which also are for sale at The Doveâ€™s Nest.
A personal interest figures in another unusual item for sale: a set of magazines published in the 1880s called â€œBattles and Leaders of the Civil War.â€ Carson bought them for her son, who is a Civil War re-enactor, but he did not have room for them when he moved to Georgia. She has Volumes 3-12, stored in archival covers. The brittle paper is too fragile to keep on display and requires very gentle handling. More recent reproductions of the magazines are available for reading copies, but collectors of original Civil War documents would find these interesting.
Doveyâ€™s husband, John Carson, works at the store, too, but thereâ€™s no marital power struggle. â€œSheâ€™s the boss,â€ John said.
Though vintage goods are popular in online venues, which attract a wider market, the Carsons have avoided online sales. The issue is one of philosophy.
â€œWith e-mail, people are losing history, losing family history,â€ John said. Although e-mail provides a means of communications, people rarely have personal letters with the actual signature of a grandparent, for example.
Reach Sandra Frykholm at email@example.com.