Celebrating 10 Years in Marblehead!

Celebrating 10 Years in Marblehead!

Tell us about Sweetwater & Co. and why you started it. Sweetwater & Co. wasn’t part of my “plan”. But in 2001, after leaving a corporate district management job, I was driving through Rockport and saw the cutest little shop for rent. My plan had been to take the summer off, but by June 1st I had signed a lease and created Sweetwater’s brand – a mix of vintage and new goods, all celebrating our love of life by the sea. Our Beverly Farms shop opened in 2007. In 2014 we moved the Rockport shop to Marblehead, which means we’re celebrating our 10th Anniversary in Marblehead this year. I’m so lucky and blessed to be part of these two great communities. We put our heart and soul into making Sweetwater & Co a whimsical escape. We still believe in brick and mortar retail, creating an experience with wonderful help and a relaxing vibe, with fabulous unique goods. We love working with local artists and artisans, and the creative community in Marblehead is truly inspiring.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I ever got was from my Dad – “Treat everyone you meet with the same respect, whether they are a trash collector or a CEO.”

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? Driving across the causeway and soaking at how pretty it is on my way home is my special treat at the end of the day. However, sitting at Crocker Park listening to the sounds of the full harbor in the summertime is a close second. In my opinion, we, absolutely, have the most beautiful harbor.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I’ve worked in retail and restaurants my whole life. I was pushed to go to school for accounting, but ended up running restaurants, bartending  and managing retail stores until I opened my own. I worked at Flynnies for a bit, and still miss that place. 

Sweetwater & Co.
Marybeth McBride
33 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead 

A Bookstore Uniquely Marblehead

A Bookstore Uniquely Marblehead

Tell us about Saltwater Bookstore and why you started it. Saltwater Bookstore is a charming indie bookshop nestled in the heart of the historic district in Marblehead. Thoughtfully designed with a cozy coastal vibe, I invite you to spend time browsing our curated adult and children’s rooms, enjoying our custom reading nooks, and engaging with other book lovers. In addition to the over 4,000 new book titles, Saltwater carries a delightful line of greeting cards and complimentary gift wrap from a New England company for all your gift-giving needs. Local bookstores are happy and inspiring places, and I’m thrilled to have brought one back to Marblehead.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The best piece of business advice I’ve ever received was “If not now, when?” There is never a perfect time for anything, so if an idea takes shape or an opportunity arises, don’t let it pass you by. 

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? My favorite spot in Marblehead is Crocker Park. I have years and years of wonderful memories there including; getting engaged, family seaside picnics, and walks with our dogs. I love the swings and the floating dock.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Something people would be surprised to learn about me is that I love a good bucket list. One favorite completed activity was being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. Such a fun experience. Top of my list now is to start my own small rescue farm. Helping animals is a big part of my life, so although this one may take a while, I’m working towards it.

Saltwater Bookstore
Laura Cooper
134 Washington St, Marblehead 

Meet MacRae’s Sustainable Goods

Meet MacRae’s Sustainable Goods

Tell us about MacRae’s Sustainable Goods and why you started it. MacRae’s offers products to our community which are safe for people and the planet! We work hard to find vendors who carry this goal from the beginning to the end of life of their products. The items we carry in the store include products for personal care, home, pets, cleaning, laundry, and much more. We’re particularly proud to offer closed loop refillable cleaning and personal care goods. Closed loop means the bulk containers we receive are returned to the vendor to be cleaned out and refilled – so that nothing is thrown away in the process! MacRae’s is located at 108 Washington Street in Marblehead. We hope you will stop in and see all of the great products we have in our store!

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The best business advice I’ve received was also really great life advice – When you let go of something that isn’t serving you, it  gives you the time and the energy to focus on something that will!”

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? Crocker Park feels magical everytime I go to it! I love seeing it at different times of the day as it has a different personality at each time.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I love to write poetry!

MacRae’s Sustainable Goods
Owner: Jennifer Lewis
108 Washington St, Marblehead

Room Tonic Brings Color & Vibrancy into Your Home

Room Tonic Brings Color & Vibrancy into Your Home

Tell us about Room Tonic and why you started it. Room Tonic (the shop) was, in a way, created for me. It was the name of my staging and design company in NYC before I moved to Marblehead in 2017. I had never owned a brick-and-mortar shop, or even worked a day in retail, but it was a dream of mine to open a shop. Our current location at 22b Atlantic was up for rent, so I decided to do some research. When I went to visit the space, the landlord told me there were 5 other people interested. I immediately said, “I feel terrible I’ve wasted your time! I don’t even have a business plan or anything!” It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say I kept apologizing and maybe even bowed as I left. The next morning the landlord called and said, “We want you”, to which I responded, “For what?”. They said, “To rent the space. This is a family-owned building, and we like your personality and think you’d fit right in.” (Cue the long pause from me). My husband had to come over to check on me, probably because my face was pale, and I was stuttering. I was stunned, scared, excited, unsure, (trying not to throw up), but I said “Ok!” So, Room Tonic the shop, as I said earlier, was sort of started by the lovely Fagone family believing in me and granting me space. My goal then was to bring color back! I love the Chinoiserie style because it’s classic, funky, and quintessentially Marblehead. Our sea captains here would bring back Chinese exports to show their prominence, and nothing looks better than some beautiful Chinoiserie pieces in our Marblehead historical homes. I’ve been overwhelmed with the support of Marbleheaders and it thrills me to my core when I hear customers say, “I love everything here!”

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? A friend who owns his own business told me, “Don’t let the business own you, make sure you own the business”. It’s so easy to let the business run your life. That advice helped me make the decision to be open Wednesday – Saturday to leave time for my family life and my design clients. It’s just me at the shop, so there needs to be balance.

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? Hands down, my favorite spot is Castle Rock. I moved to Marblehead because my, now, husband lived here. We wanted to get married at Castle Rock, but our wedding day turned out to be an unexpectedly cold and rainy day in September, so we moved all the boxes in the home we just bought and got married in our living room. I like to take my walks to Castle Rock whenever possible. I joke that it’s my church.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? People are always surprised to learn that I was a working actor in NYC for 25 years before moving to Marblehead. In the beginning of my career, I was building and designing theatrical sets by day and performing in shows or comedy clubs by night. Soon I was working solely as an actor in television and would take on Room Tonic design clients if time allowed. Later in my career television and design were blended. My designs were on HGTV and later I was Ty Pennington’s design coordinator for one of his shows before moving to New England. It’s fun when people come into the shop and say, “You look familiar”. I just say “I have a lot of doppelgangers” rather than tell them they’ve probably seen me on TV.

Room Tonic
Owner: Susan Bott
[email protected]

Find Antiques, Art & Garden Treasures at TROVE

Find Antiques, Art & Garden Treasures at TROVE

Tell us about TROVE and why you opened the store. I had a long and satisfying career in architecture in my home city of Philadelphia but have always had a passion for art and human-created objects. For me, these items evoke time and place, history, culture, craft, and of course, beauty. I wanted to create a space to share unique and curated pieces somewhere on the east coast. Originally, I thought that place might be Maine, but I couldn’t find a space that fit my needs. A friend recommended I look at the North Shore of Massachusetts. That’s when I found Marblehead, loved it, and bought the building at 96 Washington Street. I spent quite a bit of time renovating the space, then opened TROVE at the end of 2022. In my store, you can buy antiques and garden accents, including beautiful furniture, one-of-a-kind objects, paintings, original art posters, and decorative collectibles.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The best piece of business advice I received is to follow my own instincts and stay the course with my vision.

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead? Marblehead is the perfect combination of both natural and man-made beauty. As a very visually oriented man, I am drawn to the varied pleasures of seeing hidden paths and corners, beaches and coves, and big view vantage points and historic structures with their gardens.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Folks definitely seem surprised to learn that TROVE is my first such endeavor; that I didn’t move the store from elsewhere and have in fact been practicing architecture all my life until now!

For More Information:
TROVE, Owner Jack Davidson
96 Washington Street, Marblehead

New England Inspired Jewelry by Patsy Kane | Nautical

New England Inspired Jewelry by Patsy Kane | Nautical

Tell us about Patsy Kane | Nautical and why you started it. Patsy Kane | Nautical is a Marblehead based boutique jewelry design and manufacturing company. Our focus is on classic maritime inspired pieces in a variety of metals and materials. As a New England based company, we try to ensure that the majority of our products are produced in New England. Begun as a creative endeavor, our designs are now offered through our website and in fine retail settings. We partner with the NortheastArc on our I Love You Bracelet and Bosun Bracelets.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? It’s a toss-up: “If you’re talking, you aren’t listening” and/or “Do what you’re best at and hire for the tasks you aren’t”.

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? I have two favorite spots in Marblehead. I love to be tucked away inside our circa 1900 renovated beach cottage or out on our boat.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I originally wanted to be a veterinarian (inspired by All Things Great and Small) and went to Ag school for a semester.

For More Information:
Patsy Kane | Nautical
Owner: Patsy Kane Wiswell
[email protected] or 617-834-0818

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