Spill the Tea Sis Home & Gift
Could you give us an update on the new store? How are things going and what are you focused on offering?
Opening a second store has been a wild ride, but we’re making it happen and working to build awareness. We have loved being here and have appreciated the immense outpouring of support and love for our mission, which is to not only sell things, but also connect with the community and get to the root of what it actually means to shop local, buy local, and meet with practitioners. Since we opened the first store—we’re coming up on a year in July—the response has been extremely positive and overwhelming in the best way. And though the first store is mighty, it’s on the smaller side and we quickly outgrew the square footage. When the space next door (formerly Happy Valley) became available, it just felt like the perfect way to expand and offer more amazing items and events. We also rent our spaces from some of the best humans—shout out to Jill and Geordie (correct names??)—which made the whole process go more smoothly.
When we lost a few of the downtown local gems in recent years, including Artisan’s Gallery, Happy Valley, and Faces, we lost fabulous home and gift spaces that sold unique items that were also easy on the wallet. We’re working hard to offer those things in both of our stores and represent the work of local and regional artists, especially women and queer artists. It’s really important that you have an organic, comfortable experience every time you visit us. We’re here to help you find things you might not have seen before or wouldn’t necessarily discover on your own. For instance, the new shop carries its own array of candles, including a line of zodiac candles. We also have a line of candles coming in that is inspired by local scents and experiences, such as local strawberries and blueberries, and even a Mountain Park candle. We really want to tap into a place within people that conjures up nostalgic New England memories through scent.
We’ve also seen a desperate need for things people can touch and smell in real life again, and I have wanted that for us and for everyone, especially as we emerge from the darkest days of the pandemic. We’re trying to be the community space that we envisioned from the beginning and to offer a fully immersive experience every time you visit both of our stores. It’s definitely a very interesting time to be in downtown Northampton. It’s never easy to own a business, whether you’re supported or not, but we’re all just trying to figure things out and do what is best for us and for our community.
We’ll have some fun new things coming in, including a line of garden statues from an artist in Vermont, a line of tarot mugs, wall hoops, a ton of our own handcrafted jewelry, furniture, and much more. We’re just so excited about the quality of artists we have aligned with, and can’t wait to share their work with all of you!