by Jana K. Hoffman
I’ll admit, very rarely have I shopped the retailers in Easton. It’s not because of the store selection or the distance between shops or for any particular reason, really. I honestly just don’t spend much time downtown. It is difficult for someone with a full-time day job to make a stop when the stores are open. But this column gets me out to explore the places I wouldn’t normally visit and take a peek inside shops I have always wanted to see.
One of those shops is Mercantile Home, which is celebrating its 2nd anniversary this July. I’d heard that this eclectic and artsy shop existed, but, up until recently, I’ve never taken a moment to find out about it for myself. What a neat little place–and I mean little! The front portion of the room is rather small, but it is packed with goodies that will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face.
Take their collection of colorful Gallery Critters, for instance. From raccoons to squirrels for indoors and out, these cute (but not cuddly) ceramic sculptures could surely brighten anyone’s day. Owner Ron Morris (with partner Ken Jones Jr.) says Mercantile Home is well-known for its handmade snappy aprons. The domesticate in any gal (or guy) will find much use and wear out of the one-size-fits-all, adjustable kitchen fashions available in a multitude of fabrics and prints.
You may notice that many of their items are dubbed “curiosities,” and rightly so, because I certainly stopped to take a moment to pick up, touch and feel the soft fabrics of the handmade pillows, smell the invigorating candle aromas and browse the lovely stationery. I’m a sucker for pretty stationery!
The Outside | In exhibit featuring the artwork of Matt Adrian, Christina Empedocles, Jessica Marquez, Kelly Neidig and Natalie Tyler, will run for a few more days. Beginning June 3, Summer Enchanted will debut offering hand-selected artists and handmade goods from Brandon Copans, Sharon Devan, Jefferson Hayman, Maggie Hinders and Roderick Jordan until September 3. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, June 5 from 4-7 p.m.
When I had the opportunity to chat with Morris, he enlightened me with Mercantile Home’s clever “Priceless Series,” and pointed me toward a limited-edition run of prints that are free. All you have to do is ask! Literally, all you have to do is ask about the piece and you will leave with free artwork. As soon as a series sells out, a new one will replace it. Morris says one of his goals was to make artwork accessible to everyone. Collectors from Easton and beyond have made it a point to return for the latest, new print.
I will certainly return, as the fusion of art and shopping has come alive inside of Mercantile Home. It’s truly a treat for gift givers and those looking to add something unique to your home’s decor.
Mercantile Home, 526 Northampton Street, 610-258-4046. Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-7pm; Saturday mornings at the Easton Farmers Market; and by appointment.