Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
Tucked away in Thames Street Landing on the waterfront is a gift shop with an eclectic choice of goods. Jody O’Marra has operated Luna Sea since July 2012. Her inventory, she says, is based on personal preference, items she could not find locally, and customer requests.
Jodi’s customers have found her to be not only knowledgeable about her products but also most accommodating when they are looking for a particular item. Her quest is to find Made in American, Fair Trade Merchants companies. You will find a full line of organic and natural items including spices, herbs, teas, chocolates, sauces and candles, and gift items for the home. One of the stores most popular items is by Badger Balms Essential Oils: If you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, use the Badger Balm for sleep.
Always growing, last year she introduced a line of children’s toys, Melissa & Doug; and a smaller line, not as well known yet, called Dandelion, that features organic items for babies, soft rattles, dolls and animals, incredibly soft and cuddly. Again, Made in America!
By training and education, Jodi was in telecommunications and emergency management. Wanting to get out of the corporate world, she decided to take her effort and intensity and put it in a more creative direction.
Born and raised in Connecticut, she is one of 10 siblings. Family and friends are what ground her. Jodi’s brother lives in Bristol, so when looking to start on a new chapter in her life she thought what better place.
“Bristol is closer to Connecticut,” she said. “I already have family here and there is no place else I would rather open a business”
As soon as you walk in, you are embraced with a wide range of colors. The room is filled with art, including paintings, sculptures, printed t-shirts, mosaic pots, fabric covered books, and even felt fortune cookies. Some pieces are quite large and towered over the visitors. Others had such detail that it was quite evident it took many hours to create. Regardless of what you are seeking in a gift for yourself or others, The Brass is the place to go.
The Brass consists of artists with development disabilities that are supported in partnership by the non-profit organization, Living in Fulfilling Environments. The art program was started in 2009 and currently there are about 60 clients who participate. Everyone is 21 years old or older; one is even 90! They are a friendly and welcoming group who are very proud of their work which is evident not only in their art but also in their smiles. One offered to show his work that included a stool with shoes attached of which one moved. A friendly monster looking sculpture created with bright green tape was one of his other creations.
Besides their physical location in the Cutler Mill Complex in Warren, the art is displayed at craft shows and other places. The Brass has become better known in the East Bay since it started participating in Bristol Warren Art Nights. The artists receive a portion of the sale; prices can be a few dollars to more than $900 for larger pieces. The rest of the proceeds goes to The Brass for supplies, etc.
Seamus Hanes explains that this is a wonderful opportunity for the clients/artists to have their "own voice". Although most work at tables with others, their work is self directed and very individualized. This is very evident when you see the woven tapestries. There were a few displayed but you could tell that each was made by different people.
The Brass' artists are unique in many ways. Words cannot describe the energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and imagination of these artists so you will just have to go see for yourself. You wil be quite impressed!
Lorrie Mendonca, owner, had long dreamed about owning her own floral shop. While as an executive assistant for a large bridal company, she never gave up on her dream. She studied floral design, took classes and when the opportunity presented itself for her to open a floral shop, she took it.
Floral Symphony by Alexandrina's is a small, family-owned floral boutique located in downtown Bristol. Her goal is to provide custom floral arrangements that will inspire!
The Boutique originally opened its doors October 2012 on Wood Street as Alexandrina's Floral Boutique, and January 2013 she acquired Floral Symphony of Thames Street. Along with her incredible floral designs, Floral Symphony offers fruit and gourmet baskets, gift wares, candles and a unique line of bird houses.
"Our team is dedicated to exquisite floral design, attention to detail and unsurpassed customer service,” Lorrie said. “We understand that you have many choices in floral design and we appreciate you taking the time to visit Floral Symphony by Alexandriana's."