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.
1010 wins hand-picked wit & whim to represent one of fifty top small businesses in the five boroughs of new york, (plus long island) as part of their fifty-year celebration!
i trekked to the cbs studio on hudson st. yesterday for my scheduled recording time.
already sweating buckets, my armpits quickly turned to full-on hoses by the time i passed through security. always prepared, i wore my black sleeveless dress, (of course teal-accessorized with my staple scarf!)
rows of televisions airing cbs affiliate stations hung in the center of the studio and cubby-holed offices flanked the perimeter of the space. “on-air” lights intermittently flashed, in synch with my beating heart.
sequestered into one of the cozy perimeter offices, i was warmly greeted by the former commissioner of small business services, robert walsh.
‘you should feel so proud” he smiled.
“oh, i am” i exclaimed as i subtly attempted to wipe off my excess sweat onto the back of my upholstered chair.
“you squeezed in as the unofficial sixth borough–long island” he proudly announced.
just then dave plotkin, director of production and creative services, (vintage enthusiast and techie extraordinaire) took over and walked me through the recording process.
“don’t blend the wit and the whim, it sounds like wit-n-whim. e-n-un-ci-ate the ‘and’ but don’t spend too much time pausing between the wit and the whim” he instructed.
i began again.
“hi dave, my name is laurie scheinman and i own…”
“no, no, be more natural. and start your pitch higher” he urged.
i raised my voice but he stopped me again, explaining i was sounding like one of the munchkins from the wizard of oz.
“…and thanks to 1010 wins for selecting wit AND whim for their fiftieth celebration!”
two hours later, my thirty-second segment was a wrap.
eight prominent artists have been selected to showcase & sell their artwork in our, ‘summers on long island’ art show! if you’re an art enthusiast, or simply want to spend an evening out with the community, don’t miss our, ‘meet the artists’ night on june 30th from 7-9pm! sweets & treats will be served as the artists discuss their passion for long island & the insight behind their original creations!
i’ve curated a very unique mix of work that is captivating & affordable with prices ranging from $65-$1400. during the three months of the exhibit, profits will go to the helen keller national center, the sands point preserve & the safety and substance abuse task force.
of course, the exhibit is free, open to the public & all are welcome, so grab a friend & stop on by!
almost a year ago, i attended an exhibit, ‘urban imprimatur’ at the gallery, ‘atelier d’artistes’ in brussles, belgium. i was immediately drawn to kevin escalona’s work and the unusual way he portrayed urban landscapes. in typical laurie fashion, i travelled all the way to europe just to ‘discover’ an artist who actually lives and works in brooklyn, ny!
thirty year-old, venezuelan-born escalona came to the united states with his mother ten years ago having studied art and graphic design. he explained, “graffiti was really my thing but my mother is an architect and taught me how to draw.” i hung out with him in his studio and watched in awe how he creates his multi-layered graffiti-styled urban landscapes. kevin’s work has been shown in brussles, berlin, dubai and now wit & whim! soooo exciting!
i was inspired by my artist friend, robbii wessen to attend the ‘solo’ exhibit at pier 94 last week. it was a treat to see his whimsical pieces and those of many new artists! i figured i needed to get my game on since our big art show, ‘summers on long island’ is set for june!
i visited on ‘trade day’ which, when translated, meant insanity. i was overstimulated after just three rows of paint & colors but pushed on to view all 7000 works of art! while there were many amazing collections, i fell in love with three artists. i purchased several pieces from two of them for our upcoming show but the third was financially out of my league. since you won’t see victor nemo’s work hanging at the shop, i still wanted to share it with you!
things turned ugly when i learned i had to take all my purchases with me! i had (incorrectly) assumed the art would be shipped to the shop. luckily, the canvas art was unframed and could be rolled and taped (albeit heavy!) but the tile art, while bubble wrapped, was quite bulky! i asked the head of maintenance if they could give me boxes but since it was late in the day, they had all been taken. he suggested garbage bags and i happily agreed.
like santa, i carried the goodie-filled sacks back to long island on my railroad sleigh as jolly as can be!
i drove to catskill, ny to meet lucie & meg, two artists who created a collection of fabulous handmade porcelain goodies for the home! their line is practical, fresh, modern and sleek and of course i bought the best pieces for the shop!
their studio was inspiring! i loved learning about how each piece is carefully made. it gave me a better understanding of how precise the process is. lucie & meg make it look easy but each step is really tricky!
with my crafty spirit ignited, i decided to stroll through the old, one block town to discover more. when i stumbled through ‘the painted piece’ the door gave a sweet little jingle and a jolly woman immediately asked me if i was there for the “magic paint”.
“what?” i said like a curious nine year-old.
“the magic paint!” she said with a smile.
“um…no, i don’t know what that is.”
“oh” she replied as she shook her head with distain.
“but i want to learn!” i exclaimed.
“oh, good” she said reassuringly as she shuffled me to a wall length cabinet with colorful objects carefully arranged like an overflowing candy shop.
She explained how the paint could transform any object or surface in one simple step. i felt like i had fallen into willy wonka’s chocolate factory and i had to have the magic paint! meanwhile, while i was there, six different people came in requesting the paint!
ninety-seven dollars later, with teal paint in hand, i headed home ready for my big paint adventure. stay tuned!
winter is finally over and we are planning our next exciting art show! the theme this time is, ‘summers on long island’ which should be a real crowd pleaser. the exhibit will premier on june 23rd, and we’ll host our celebratory, ‘meet the artist’ night one week later on tuesday, june 30th, from 7-9pm.
the sale/exhibit will run through august 14th. if you are interested participating, or know of someone who might be, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! all mediums are welcome! we will be accepting artwork until our gallery space is full! for those of you who are like me, (with no artistic talent) stay tuned for more information on attending the festivities!
curating the ever-changing collection for wit & whim is my favorite part of the job. fans travel far and wide to shop our hand-picked selection of goodies that do not disappoint! the bummer is, our one-of-a-kind items sell through so quickly, some people miss out. because of this, i have decided to start a special 24/7 collection of the seven best, limited-edition, must have’s of the season! the good news is, we will carry 24 pieces for each of my favorite picks! this way, they remain special but if you really want one, you will have a better chance of grabbing one before they sell out.
we will reveal our first 24/7 collection wednesday, april 22nd, to celebrate earth day! come by, join the fun & see what all the buzz is about!
the deadline to submit this year’s national retailer excellence award application came amidst my crazy travel schedule. if you remember, last year wit & whim lost to the famous shop, ‘leon & lulu’ (read it and weep). i worked really hard on this year’s application to capture the essence of wit & whim and the incredible communities who support us.
marty and i travelled to detroit to visit yet another kid, sarah, at michigan law. the weekend was jam-packed! after a quick visit to the local first med to get marty a much needed z-pack, i snuck away while sarah was gearing up for her first half-marathon.
i explored the local vintage stores and visited, ‘leon & lulu’ and ‘catching fireflies’, two award-winning gift shops. wit & whim wants to be leon & lulu when it grows up. from soup to nuts, the ever expanding store, worthy of it’s accolades, does not disappoint. if you’re ever in the area, it’s worth the trip. lucky for us, because they won last year, they cannot submit an application this year!
we ate our way through ann arbor, (yes, zingerman’s) had lots of fun meeting sarah’s friends and finished up the trip with sarah crossing the 13.1 mile finish line!
took a quick road trip to d.c. this weekend! half work & half play. you decide which was which!
visited two of my kids. started off with brunch & some seriously sinful beignets. i would have taken a picture for you guys but knew the kids would’ve yelled at me so sorry. erin, my eldest, showed me her new office and took us on an amazing tour of the west wing.
i also met with an artist whose pottery i have been coveting for almost a year now. i am excited to announce we will be featuring her work in the shop this summer! can’t wait! you’re gonna love it!
of course i stalked a few great shops for tips & trends and discovered salt & sundry at the union market. great look and cool goods to boot! be sure to check it out if you are in the area.
for more delicious fun…i met with a rising-star, washington-based baker who wants to collaborate with us on a fun, gift & give back project. can’t reveal the big plan just yet, but stay tuned!
finished the trip with some serious skee ball and now i’m back home just in time to leave again for a big auction way, way upstate!
the number one tip on every decorator’s list, is to forget the, “matchy-match” look. according to elle decor, you must, “keep things fresh by using different styles, colors and textures.” modern interior trends magazine suggests mixing rather than matching by combining salvaged finds with modern pieces. house beautiful stresses the importance of creating a space that looks considered instead of chaotic.
if this overwhelms you, i suggest you start small. don’t go for a whole room at once. test the waters with single pieces that can add some personality to your space. the big looks this year mix white with metallics and color with distressed wood. so, for example, try a mid-century bar cart in a modern bathroom or add a rustic cocktail table to your color-filled den. if that seems too dramatic, maybe just place a small vintage bench in your kitchen, or by your bedside with a beautiful fair trade throw folded over it.
whatever your needs, big or small, we’ve got you covered! we’re on trend this season with modern and vintage fixtures and we’re happy to help you create a warm and inviting space!