SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: Boldly Meso

Published Thursday, March 2, 2017

 Words and Layout by Jenny Wonderling | Shop Meso now!

The Mayan Store Meso Wool Fair Trade Pillows Guatemala Graphic

                                       All photos by Meso (unless otherwise specified)

Enthusiastic, accessible, and deeply committed to what they are growing, the owners of Meso have elevated crafts to mainstream design with a conscience, and they have a lot to be proud of. As Gonzalo, one of Meso’s founding partners explained, “Since we started, we immediately disrupted the handmade sector. It was like our trademark, doing things completely differently.” Impassioned by the positive change they are bringing to hundreds of artisans and their families in many villages of Central America, (and many more through the non-profit programs they have helped support) three young... Read More →

Holy Cow, Human Nature, and Other Maddening Contradictions*

Published Saturday, December 31, 2016

(*or How My Recent Trip to India Led to the Metamorphosis Of Nectar) by Jenny Wonderling  Written October, 2016, India.  This is the story of a furniture and gift shop owner who lost her way. “Focus on the beauty,” my Indian mother Kumi says, ever evolved.  She does not mean this in... Read More →

SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: on Social Responsibility with Hand in Hand

Published Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Meet Zofia Wolicki, Director of Sales and Marketing for one of Nectar's favorite small businesses: Hand in HandNot only does this company make a truly natural and environmentally friendly line of incredible smelling bath and body products, they are impacting individuals in-need in a BIG way. Hand in Hand began with a simple mission for change: for every product purchased, one bar of soap and one month of clean water would be donated to a child in need. This simple act would help reduce the astronomical numbers of preventable childhood deaths each year in developing nations. In the short span of 6 years since the company's launch, Hand in Hand has donated over...

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SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: A One Woman Show with Neva Opet

Published Friday, August 26, 2016

Classically designed handcrafted utilitarian leather goods with an emphasis on quality: that's what you can expect from Neva Opet. Each and every piece is painstakingly designed, hand cut, stitched, packed and shipped by the brand's very multifaceted owner Rachel Riedinger out of her Atlanta, GA studio. She had her heart in fashion long before hitting her stride in leather working, and taught herself the skills necessary to not only make the exact bags she envisioned, but start a company from scratch. We can't get enough of her style, clearly influenced by men's goods with a refined feminine edge. (Like boyfriend jeans, except you don't need heels to play dress up.) Think subdued colors and shapes with a minimal and timeless aesthetic that can be carried anywhere with any outfit. Plus each leather bag is designed to grow in character with age and wear. She challenges everyone to "Beat it up and wear it forever!" We're game. 

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Creating an In-Home Sanctuary

Published Monday, July 11, 2016

Creating an in-home sanctuary

When considering the transformation of any space, I recommend first pouring a cup of tea and calmly stepping back to take inventory of what you already know. As the details begin to reveal and express themselves, questions might arise: What kind of light graces the room? What is the sense of spaciousness? What is already there to work with in terms of furnishings, art, (that are special, that you want to keep and not that you feel you should or that are keeping you!) and details such as wall color that can easily be changed and wholly transform a room?  Is there a budget, or can you use what you have? And how can you create something that is a unique expression of your goals and visions?

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A Rustic Wildflower Wedding

Published Wednesday, May 18, 2016

When Shellie Pomeroy asked to borrow some furniture & dinnerware for a photoshoot, we were thrilled. The creative genius behind Silk & Willow, Shellie handcrafts ethereal plant-dyed silks and table linens out of her home studio in New Paltz, NY:

"Using plant materials to dye fabric is a tradition that dates back to antiquity. Forging for material and cooking out the color is a gratifying process. I even find joy in the varying smells that now come from my kitchen. Some like a sweet cup of brewed tea, and others, a muddy earthiness that remind me of walking on wet moss barefoot in the woods. An array of sensory responses brought straight to my kitchen!"

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SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: an Interview with Captain Blankenship

Published Friday, May 6, 2016

Jana Blankenship’s eyes become really focused and bright when she talks about subjects that inspire her, revealing complex flecks of darker patches suspended in a luminous amber sea. She loves her family most of all, nurturing her two young children and her relationship with her husband Levy, while weaving in her creativity and gratitude for the natural world throughout the matrix that is Captain Blankenship, a growing small business that is becoming, well, not so small. To create such a multifarious daily and hourly life is no inconsequential task, especially with young 

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In Honor of Mama Earth

Published Friday, April 22, 2016

Hudson Valley New York Nature Hiking

For us lucky New Yorkers who live in or visit Ulster County's bounty of natural splendor, it's easy to pay homage to nature's many gifts. 

An ever-changing natural landscape bursts forth here with each new season and even day. Not to brag, but just this week I have seen a fox, many hawks, voles, deer, a raccoon and all kinds of birds delighting in the flowering trees and earth. And farmers! I have happily seen many of those too, hands in the earth, grins on their faces. One cannot help but worry here for the impact of late snows on our crops, for example, or how one thing affects another.

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    Clouds Clouds Clouds

    Published Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    Upstate NY Hudson Valley Photography Exhibit

    Yva Momatiuk and John Eastcott's exquisite photo series of clouds plucked across the wide world are now gracing the walls of our Rhinebeck shop. The ethereal, transportative qualities they emit are truly calming; I might even say, loving. Perhaps the confluence of mere image and paper are here imbibed with some of what flows between them. (Think inspired love and co-creation, but more on this later...) This could explain why each cloud feels oh-so-good to be in the presence of. Our customers have been lingering even longer than usual, and then with a long breathy exhale, they gush about the beautiful photographs and the calm they feel in their midst. 

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    The Cord

    Published Thursday, March 10, 2016

     

    A mother and daughter came into Nectar a few weeks ago. They were peaceful, gentle with each other, quiet indications and acknowledgements passing back and forth between their placid faces. When they stepped in front of me at the counter to pay, I noticed a burgundy velvet ribbon encircling the daughter’s wrist. My attention was drawn there, as if it was important, worthy.

    “I like that,” I said, noticing how it slumped easily, a remnant of something timeless. Her mother then burst her own wrist forth. “I have one too,” she announced proudly. “I love that she finds beauty in such a simple, ordinary thing.” A mother’s pride.

    But it wasn’t ordinary at all, this inherently elegant thing. It was something much more: a cord that connected them before me in an overt way and to the women they secretly carried within them. 

     

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    Words for a New Year + the "Use Your Rests" SALE

    Published Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Shop Nectar Upstate NY Furniture Sale

    I just returned a week ago from a pokey little town on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. The adjustment has been difficult, honestly. I seem to have left one foot in the wet sand, still searching for the sun. I don’t want to

     

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    A Winter Well Spent in the Hudson Valley

    Published Thursday, January 7, 2016

    Mansion Tour Wilderstein Hudson Valley New York Upstate NY

    There's an undeniable draw to our charming, lush valley, beckoning crowds from both near- New York City is a mere 80 miles south- and far- especially true of our international rock climbing friends set on scaling the renowned Shawangunk Ridge. The Hudson Valley is steeped in rich history, art and culture, abounding natural beauty and a flourishing culinary ensemble. From majestic Hudson River views and leaf littered mountain roads that wind through charming little villages, to the incredible farm-to-fork restaurants, countless historic sites (did you know that Kingston was the original capital of NY?!), endless hiking trails, dozens of wineries and microbreweries, and the simple peace and quiet, there's much to savor in our neck of the woods. Here we offer you some of our favorites places to eat, play, stay & explore this winter:

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    MOROCCO PART 2: Berber Eyes

    Published Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    Jenny Wonderling's photo, a woman's silhouette on the streets of Morocco
    While in a foreign country, an ear for language and bartering abilities are only part of the picture when it comes to making connections. The truth is when traveling (or not), little verbal language is really necessary since most communication is nonverbal anyhow, and if you carry with you an open heart, you have the only key you really need.
    “You have Berber eyes,” I would hear often on this trip in French or English in a trill all it’s own. “Kind eyes.” I am not the only one who seeks connections. I have travelled to enough places at this point to recognize that my brown eyes and hair seem to help make me familiar, as if I might have roots in the places I am visiting.  I have been to many places along the Mediterranean, in Central and South America, to India several times  on buying trips for Nectar, and now Morocco. In each vastly different place I am asked in one way or another if I am one of them. When I admit I am not, I witness my interviewer grasping
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    MOROCCO PART 1: The Souk

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    There is the anticipation of travel before the trip begins: the excitement and fear about what will be different, what will change within me, how I might possibly impact the new place. I love being shook up and rearranged, and staying true to the things that matter most, that make me me. When I travel now, I seem to need less sleep, not nearly as much as I do back home, though my days are even more active and physically demanding. My mind and heart pull in so much information visually and otherwise to help keep me oriented, to help me lose my way. I love the rush of the new, even when it’s uncomfortable, as it often is. In a place so drastically different, how can one ever remain the same?

    Morocco. I have always wanted to visit there, or at least much of my adult life. I have been drawn to Moorish architecture and design, and what happens at the line where different cultures have coincided, co-mingled and influenced each other for generations, and yet kept their identities strong.

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    By The Time You Are Real

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    I had the feeling that there was something especially potent ahead of me, steps before I even entered the doorway. I vibrated with it, a new layer of heat coursing through my tired body that was already sweltering from the experience of Rajasthan in April. We were deep in the old unventilated building, without air conditioning, after days of seeing countless items piled, stacked, tumbling in every direction I could see. It had taken me many, many days to find my way here, and to them. Finally. My body coursed with rightness, as if they were why I had come. Maybe I too dreamed those particular things into being, sensing they were important without knowing even what they were.

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    Celebrating International Women's Day

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    According to Globalcitizen.org, “Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half of the world’s food, but earn only 10% of the world’s income and own less than one perent of the world’s property.” For these women, life is a litany of injustice. This is why Nectar dedicates so much of its offerings to women-owned businesses and Fair Trade women’s cooperatives.

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    India Travelogue: Part 1

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    The sun has risen over the squalor and fleets of overburdened ancient trucks, some literally toppled over on the highway by the weight of their unwieldy loads. Dogs run everywhere, hungry and anxious. The world is cloaked in a fog much worse than in Delhi proper. Fires burn all around, garbage and cow dung patties and wood. And then there are the very tall, ominous looking chimneys that rise up mysteriously across the landscape. I wonder if some might be brickworks, others clearly just factories belching out more dark smoke. My eyes burn now worse than they have yet on this trip, though they have often, old lung issues flaring up after mostly years of clear breathing. Maybe it's also because the lungs are considered by Eastern Practitioners a kind of grief center, revealing the fact that I can't help but experience some empathic...

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    SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: Mushmina

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Mushmina Founders
    It was easy falling in love with Mushmina… long, flowing scarves swung from vintage brass hooks, with colorful handwoven pillows dotting the floor below. Brightly upholstered boho bags, heavy shag carpets, and antique jewels from far-away places beckoned us into their booth in the Handmade section of the New York International Gift Fair. It was like stepping into a Moroccan spice market. As we ooohed and aaahed at all the gorgeous treasures- stroking silky scarves and slipping into sandals- we were greeted by a pair of the warmest smiles we had yet to encounter at the show. Heather and Katie, it was obvious, really loved that they did and who they worked with. They shared sweet stories of sisterhood about the women who crafted their items by hand, giving their line a whole new sense of integrity. All at once we knew- we had to carry Mushmina at Nectar!
    With an incomparable passion for “designing change” in a world too often strewn with inequality and injustice, founding sisters Heather and Katie O-Neil have combined their design prowess and social entrepreneurship to launch Mushmina, a Fair Trade company steeped in ...
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    Hanging Capiz Shell Chandelier

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Our friend Sasha recently took home our favorite capiz shell chandelier, and while we were sad to see it go (truly, we loved it so!), we couldn't envision it in a more perfect space. Everything about this set up- the modern white table and curved back chairs, vintage French liquor print, those luscious snapdragons- is perfect!

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    Nectar & Friends Raise $700 Worth of Food for Needy Neighbors

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    We are sending The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley another much needed monthly check, thanks to the generous donations of our in-store customers.  For each dollar of the $59.76 raised this past month, funds will be matched by $10-$12.00 by the Food Bank. That means around $700 worth of food has been raised by Nectar’s big-hearted customers for our neighbors in need this past holiday!!! 

    The Food Bank collects food and funds to help provide for over 400 agencies, pantries and soup kitchens that serve families right here in the Hudson Valley who would otherwise go without food. A HUGE THANK YOU to all who contributed! 

     

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    On Gratitude & Growth

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    I had a simple vision of our newest window display at Nectar for 2014: quince clipped from my snow covered garden, their spindly stark branches to be placed in a large vase on a beautiful handmade dining table. The flowers' parity is deceptive. Their gray skin and sharp, jagged branches seem almost violent, unforgiving, not unlike the frigid wintry landscape of the Northeast. The abundance of spring seems an impossibility when I look out my windows onto the cold earth surrounding me as I write this, and yet, tucked into the sleeping earth, hiding, is an explosion of color and LIFE. The branches hold the same secret miracle, and will unfurl their delicate ...
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    Why Choose Fair Trade?

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Fair Trade is the difference between a life of poverty and a livelihood. It aims to transform the lives of poor producers in developing countries around the world by offering them fairly paid employment opportunities that best utilize their skills and resources, while advocating for higher social and environmental standards. Essentially, the Fair Trade movement allows these producers to lift themselves out of poverty. It allows for investment in development projects to improve access to education, enhance social services, and develop
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    Behind-the-Scenes: NYC Rooftop Wedding Shoot

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Jenny and I had the pleasure of working with the incredible team behind Roey Mizrahi Events at the Top of the Garden venue in New York City to add our touch of glam to this gorgeous wedding editorial. We brought a massive truckload of wares- carved Indian cubby shelves, mother of pearl inlay tables, mirrors, glassware...

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    SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: Lotus Love Beauty

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Things that make you go mmmmmm… that’s quite possibly the best way to describe Lotus Love Beauty’s infectious bath and body line. Luscious, floral beauty bars, detoxifying bath salts, silky body oils, creamy lotions, and heavenly candles create the ultimate at-home spa retreat at prices that make it easy to stay beautiful. Oh, and there’s no nasty chemicals to worry about, either! Here’s the inside scoop on LLB…

     

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    New Homes For Nectar Furnishings

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    

    We’ve been busy around here! At the moment we’re getting ready to box-up and ship-out furniture all over the country–a dresser to Seattle, a daybed and coffee table to North Carolina, several pieces to nearby NYC…and that’s just the big stuff.

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    Nectar's Interior Design Services

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

     

    Did you know that we have the capacity to fulfill LARGE SCALE design orders, as we did with the 26-room Emerson Resort and Spa in Mt. Tremper? For that project and others, we have provided custom furnishings, statuary, architectural and design details. We love working with Interior Designers and Architects, as well as hands-on with home and business owners to co-create the perfect ...

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    In Honor of All Mothers...

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015


    I wanted to write about how incredibly grateful I am to be raising my baby and older sons in a community where mothering is respected and supported. Let’s admit it, parenting in general is rife with challenges, and I can only imagine how even more complicated it must be for mothers who are forced to go back to work with their young infants not at or near their workplace if that is something they desire.

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    Spring Is...

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Driving away from Nectar one recent afternoon, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of excitement and gratitude for the unfolding warm days ahead. Spring in the Hudson Valley is truly an extraordinary thing to behold– something long awaited, something seemingly earned after slogging through the arduous days of snow shoveling and a starker landscape. True, this winter was freakishly mild, and yet, spring is another magical thing entirely. And so I began to free associate what spring really is for me, and words unfurled before me as I whipped over the beautiful roads towards home: Green. Budding. Beauty. Color. Rebirth. Fun.  So many more, streaming out like water, like sunlight.

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    Giving Back With the Hudson Valley Food Bank

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Perhaps you’ve met him around the store or perhaps you haven’t yet, but our Food Bank Piggy is always here taking donations for our good friends over at the the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. This month we collected over $45 dollars. It may not sound like much, but with the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, a little goes a loong way

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    Happy, Merry, Joy

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Favorite holiday man gifts from Nectar

    It’s finally time to celebrate snowy, cheery, wintry holiday bliss! Boxes upon boxes arrive everyday with shimmering ornaments and glittering garlands, precious treasures to be gifted, and keepsakes to last through the years. We are busy ordering festive table settings, hand crafted tree-free journals and spice colored jewelery to stock our shelves. Eggnog and cider, Christmas cookies and Bing Crosby- it’s all so exciting!

    This year we are mixing dazzling golds and sparkling silvers with matted metal boxes and soft felted critter ornaments. Reclaimed is king at Nectar, so most of our ornaments are handmade around the world from old soda cans, discarded books, worn fabric, and scrap metal. 

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    Meet the Neighbors: Banning Together After Hurricane Irene

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    The stories have been endless, shared teary eyed or invigorated, about the losses or the experiences of helping others in need as a result of Hurricane Irene and its aftermath.  We have been entrusted at Nectar with first-hand tales of whole houses and businesses being swept away, or submerged by water, plagued by persistent mold, too many lost crops and lost personal valuables and possessions. 

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    The Treasure Within

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    At only 9:30a.m., a half an hour before I officially opened the store, a sporty silver 4 x 4 pulled up.  Whoever it was sat in the car a few extra minutes and I used the time to continue with the morning’s tasks.  I was still turning on lights, setting furniture out front, lighting the candle that would lend luscious scent to the rooms, and choosing a cd to listen to.

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    Dishes and Life

    Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Each morning, as my mother does, as her mother did before us, I put away the dishes.  I rise early to relish in the rapture of a quiet house before the raucous of the day begins.  Whether the children, the husband, or the guests are sleeping or I am alone in my house, the ritual is the same. 

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