4 a.m. with Leonard by Jenny Wonderling
I found some lost poetry while making banana bread at 4am with Leonard Cohen. I just may have felt the whispers of something exquisite and simple, merely a few words but something true and mine. As the ingredients mixed to become batter and form, I thought, one must be vigilant in order to hold on to poetry and passion. It's not easy, especially in America, a place of efficient cynics and critics, judges and lonely hearts. I harken from another land, am formed of art, of things broken, screamed and repaired, of tender and hungry touch, music and words sprawled on napkins & bits of paper, and of breads formed in the dark of morning.
Le Matin by Jenny Wonderling In goes the cup of flour, not measured too carefully because there’s no need. The cup of milk, a pinch of salt, the egg. The whisk turns, moving in among what is separate, the soft... Read More →
Words and Layout by Jenny Wonderling | Shop Meso now! All photos by Meso (unless otherwise specified) Enthusiastic, accessible, and deeply committed to what they are growing, the owners of Meso have... Read More →
(*or How My Recent Trip to India Led to the Metamorphosis Of Nectar)
his 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 a superficial way, as in beauty of the body, she could give a rat's ass about that. She is responding to the fact that I am so burdened by humans' negative impact to the earth, as if hoping we can miraculously solve some of the issues together.Read More →
Meet Zofia Wolicki, Director of Sales and Marketing for one of Nectar's favorite small businesses: Hand in Hand. Not 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...
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.Read More →
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?Read More →
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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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 youngRead More →
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.
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.Read More →
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.
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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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:Read More →
This has been a year of many milestones for us- we opened our second store in Rhinebeck this May, launched a shiny new website just last month & are now gearing up for our 10 Year Anniversary. Plus we’re hosting our first ever art installation with the impactful portraiture of local photographer Francesco Mastalia. There's much to celebrate! Read More →
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.
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.Read More →
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.Read More →
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...Read More →
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!Read More →
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!
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...Read More →
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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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.Read More →
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 ...Read More →
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.Read More →
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.Read More →
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 wayRead More →
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.Read More →
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.Read More →
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.Read More →
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.Read More →