laurie

i did not find this business, it found me. i was moving along just fine in my life when it grabbed me by the neck and flung me from my 26 year-old psychotherapy practice and interrupted my newly found hiatus of having successfully raised five unincarcerated children...

i've spent my career connecting with people and wit & whim takes that connection to a new level–one that is visual, tactile and certainly fun. my goal is to create a home setting with a relaxed atmosphere where shoppers can treat themselves, and others, to an international selection of art, design, craft and fashion.

holiday cheers!

laurie:

it’s hard to believe it’s december already!  we have so much going on this month, here’s a calendar to keep track of all the fun!

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we’re kicking off the festivities with our famous latkes & vodkas party. with hanukkah one week away, it’s the perfect time to grab one or eight nights worth of goodies!

and if that’s not enough, two days later is the famous port holiday magic event!  stroll, or ride the trolly along port washington’s beautifully lit streets & watch carolers, dancing soldiers and a host of street entertainment.  stop into almost any shop for sweets, treats raffles & fun! wit & whim will have live music and a balloonist right outside our door!

mimosa monday on the 7th begins our ‘open seven days a week’ sprint till christmas!  if you didn’t have a great weekend, shake away those monday blues with some fresh oj and a smile!

new to the holiday calendar is our guys night out party!  last year we had a ton of requests for the is event so here it is!  need help finding that perfect gift?  don’t worry, we’ve got you covered along with a free gift & ten percent off your entire purchase!

and don’t forget, we’re open late every thursday until 8:00pm!

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bringing on the holiday bling!

laurie: 

customers have been urging me to find higher end jewelry that fits my, “cannot be found elsewhere” standard for the shop. while it’s really tricky to take a chance on an unknown collection, i did my homework & met with close to sixty designers to select three unbelievable lines, each nicely priced from $150-$450.

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the first collection just arrived and i am thrilled! susan anderson, designer extraordinaire, travels the world to hand pick rare and unusual gemstones. she emphasizes jewels high in luster and reflectivity to allow the natural color to speak for each piece.

susan starts with an idea inspired by the materials & makes artistic choices that lead her to the perfect balance of color and texture.  worn alone or layered, each necklace makes a unique design statement yet is classic enough to remain in style.

i feel if you are going to invest in a piece, you should feel confident you will be able to wear it for years to come. i can’t wait for you to see the whole collection!

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tricks & treats & gifts & sweets!

laurie:

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you guys are the greatest.  you’re not just customers, many of you have become my friends!  for those of you who support the shop, drop by to say hi, bring me soup & show me cool products, it’s my turn to say thanks!

please join me (and my terrific crew) for a wine & chocolate pairing girls night out this thursday, october 29th from 6-8pm!  there will be plenty of goodies to sink your teeth into…and i’m not just talking about the chocolate!

the wines will be poured & paired by our sommelier friend ivan from vintage grapes.  expect a port wine, a pinot noir and moscato d’asti to be served with extra dark, smooth, & white chocolate truffles!  yummmm! see ya thursday!

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a road trip to the phoenicia flea market!

laurie:

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i took a road trip to stone ridge, new york today to visit the phoenicia flea market, a “well edited nomadic market” founded in 2014!  while the vendors sported the very best in handcrafted jewelry, vintage & furnishings, the scene was right out of a 1967 woodstock postcard!  people of all ages were hanging out on blankets while a young man strummed a guitar next to an open air fire pit.  adding to the ambiance was the fact that the entire market was nestled on the grounds of the stone ridge apple orchards!  there were no signs, nor roads, just pickers & makers together celebrating community, creativity & local trade.  it was right up my alley!

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wit & whim takes a bite out of the big apple!

laurie:

i am so excited about our next big art show, ‘fall for new york’!  our windows are filled with manhattan-esque fun & we will be toasting the bright lights of the big city with a spectacular meet the artist event on tuesday, october 6th fro 6-8pm!

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the latest collaboration features three talented artists, graffiti artist, kevin marcell, award-winning painter, mary westring, & photographer, mark lutin along with a cleverly curated selection of goods that will make you fall for new york!

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if you can’t make it to our big party, stop in sometime in octuber as the exhibit/sale will run until the start of november!  and remember, 100% of our profits from this exciting event, and all of october will go to the juvenile diabetes research foundation!

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london calling!

laurie:

while i’m always looking for any reason to travel, this time it was legit!  rachael, my youngest, is studying in london this fall so i volunteered four days to help set up her home away from home.  i packed my checked bag full of old sheets, towels & pillows which rachael plans to use then leave in london so i had an empty suitcase to fill with new curiosities!  and oh the treasures i found!

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camden market was brimming with new artists, apple market was overflowing with rare vintage finds & jubilee hall had it all!

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amidst the set up & market hopping was london’s fashion week, and sam was casting the big versace show so one night was devoted to stargazing, (i’m the short stout one in the corner…)

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ninety-six hours later i headed home with a suitcase full of fun & two kids living happily abroad!

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we’ve come a long way baby!

laurie:

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in 2009, long before wit & whim was a twinkle in my eye, i became addicted to a little blog about visual design.  two times a month i’d savor its jewels on how to turn an old wooden ladder into a towel rack along with learning new words like re-purpose & up-cycle.

my kids were young at the time, that tricky stage between craft projects and cell phones.  one rainy sunday, a post suggested a diy, (do it yourself) project on how to turn an old frame into a fabulous jewelry holder.  the kids were psyched & five jewelry holders later…we were hooked!

in 2011, when i was preparing the storyboard for the shop, i went back to the blog and looked through hundreds of images of glass domes, vintage suitcases, tree branches & barn tables.  i even left a reply message for, “becky” to thank her for exposing me to the world of visual design.

fast forward to 2013…becky from retail details began to, ‘follow’ us and graciously began to share our window & visual display images and just two weeks ago, while visiting n.y., she dropped in to visit & photograph the shop!  while this might not mean much to you whimsters, it’s certainly a pinnacle in my retail career!  thanks becky for the years of wisdom & encouragement!

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an example from retail details ‘university’!

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a summer of running & recognition!

laurie:

what an action packed summer it has been!  the little shop with the big heart has catapulted itself beyond its wildest dreams. recognized nationally by home accents today magazine as one of the best & brightest retail stars in america, selected as one of the top 50 small businesses in new york by 1010 wins, nominated for the 2015 retail excellence award in community events by gifts & decorative accessories magazine & in the final round for chase bank’s national top small business grant!  it’s no wonder i haven’t slept in months!

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the summer began with an exciting trip to atlanta!  i was asked to participate in a breakfast panel discussion on small businesses & the use of social media.  my fellow panelists from, virtu, eloise, one eleven main, a.dodson’s & glee gifts, among others were veteran shop owners from across the country.  we shared triumphs & challenges and bonded over grits and grapefruit.

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as if that wasn’t thrilling enough, i was asked to speak at the ny now market show on, ‘bricks to clicks’ and the world of online sales with blue raccoon & red barn mercantile, true experts in the field.  i am certain they brought me in just for the comic relief.

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that night i celebrated with my new shop owner friends as we either won or lost in our respective categories at the retail oscars.  while i lost again, i didn’t feel compelled to jump into the hudson river this year (last year was tough) because i understood what an honor it was just to be among these incredibly creative & resilient people.

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from rainmakers to rain!

laurie:

i woke up at 4:30am to head to the bouckville antique market.  the funny part was, in my delirium, i thought i saw a tweet from damian lewis, the actor who most notably played brody in homeland.  he had been in the shop the previous day and of course we tweeted about his visit.  a few minutes later, i heard my phone pinging like a pinball machine!  he actually DID tweet back to our comment about his visit and all of england, (remember, he is english and they are five hours ahead of us) was liking and retweeting his post.  i private messaged him to thank him for being so gracious and we conversed, or tweeted, or texted or whatever it is called until i drove off.

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that exciting experience carried me for half of my four hour ride, (in the rain of course) to madison, ny.  the sun was up when i arrived but luckily i grabbed my rain boots and umbrella anyway.

i’d love to tell you i found great treasures, but to be honest, it poured most of the day and there was just a lot of wet dreck.  i searched and searched for rare finds but came up pretty empty handed other than discovering the most delicious onion loaf in the northeast.

thank goodness for brody or the day would have been a total wash out!

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makers & shakers in hudson, ny!

laurie:

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now that the art show is up & running, i began my search for the next, latest & greatest collection!  this weekend my quest took me to hudson, n.y., a thriving neighborhood full of hip & happening creatives and the famed, ‘hudson river exchange’ market’.  a year ago, i read about a group of, “like-minded makers” who decided to create the annual market to showcase the art, food, music & community of hudson.

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the weather was lousy but the diminished crowd was great for me!  it gave me time to chat with many of the artists who were assembled in two huge white tents filled with handmade ceramics, wood, leather, canvas, metal, stone, paper & woven treasures.  while i was familiar with some of the collections, most were new to me & it was a real treat!

the real question i struggle with, is whether my customers will appreciate the made in the usa/made local message and its quality because the products are more costly.  Please feel free to chime in and let me know your thoughts!

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