Dovey Carson observes her customers and knows what to expect. "The women come here," she says, indicating a corner filled with vintage china, linens and jewelry. "The men go to the candy."
Carson, owner of The Dove'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. "It was so much bigger than the other place, I needed to fill it up," 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, "I have people every day asking if I sell things on consignment." She often takes a simpler approach. "If it's something I think will sell, I usually just buy it," she said.
Carson'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 Dove's Nest.
A personal interest figures in another unusual item for sale: a set of magazines published in the 1880s called "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War." 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.
Dovey's husband, John Carson, works at the store, too, but there's no marital power struggle. "She's the boss," 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.
"With e-mail, people are losing history, losing family history," John said. Although e-mail provides a means of communications, people rarely have personal letters with the actual signature of a grandparent, for example.
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The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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