Expect Anything…..the mantra for PIKNIK, and it is so true. PIKNIK has been a fixture in the Arts District of Oak Bluffs for over 15 years. It is the kind of store that makes you long for things they carry.
Owner Michael Hunter has an innate ability to find the extraordinary for home and self. Simply walk in the store and I guarantee the word “wow” will come out of your mouth a number of times. From the apparel to the artists, Michael has an eye for those one-of-a-kind pieces that really set you apart from the crowd.
PIKNIK “Pop Up” in Edgartown
For the 2011 holiday season, Michael decided to host a “pop-up” store on Charles Street in Boston. He had no expectations for the store, but thought it made sense from a business perspective. He has a seasonal store on the Vineyard, why not have a seasonal store for the holidays on Beacon Hill. In a word — success. The Charles Street PIKNIK was a hit.
Not only did he introduce a number of Bostonians to PIKNIK style, but he also connected with a number of new Martha’s Vineyard clients who were not familiar with PIKNIK in Oak Bluffs. This surprised me, but perhaps it’s because I live in the Arts District, and love the area, but Michael was not surprised. For him, PIKNIK is a destination store that has a strong following, but as we know, a number of people who visit the Vineyard, never leave the town they’re staying in. So, perhaps its time to bring PIKNIK to them.
Knowing this, Michael had an idea. Why not have a “pop up” PIKNIK store in Edgartown? It’s a great destination in the Summer for shopping, and there’s an opportunity for a whole new clientele. So, he set off to find just the right space, and as fate would have it, the perfect space was available.
A friend of Michael’s, Ezra Sherman (a co-worker of mine at Point B Realty) had the ideal location, 11 Winter Street in Nevin Square. It had just became available, and the space could not have been better.
So Much More Than Clothes
I stopped by the Edgartown PIKNIK, which is opening later this month, but of course I had to see what Michael was doing with the space. I immediately fell in love with this black sequin shirt (featured in the photo). I think I walked around with it for about 15 minutes but had to leave it – for now.
That’s what happens when you walk into PIKNIK. Something will grab hold of you and you’ll have to buy it because you’ll most likely not see it again anywhere else. PIKNIK carries the most amazing appareal – Tracy Watts hats (the Cuba has to be the hat of the Summer), Johnny Farah leather goods, Sarti scarves, from Italy, Santa Maria Novella soaps and lotions – just a couple of examples of what you can find at both stores.
These are things that you can’t get just anywhere, many of which are one-of-a-kind items. That’s what makes shopping here such a pleasure. So many of us don’t want to wear the same things as everyone else. These are investment pieces. That shirt that you wear all Summer long that never stops getting compliments. That bag that you know thy neighbor is coveting. PIKNIK taps into that inner joy of shopping.
Before I forget, I have to mention that PIKNIK does carry an amazing selection for men as well. Sometimes I forget that it’s just as important for guys to have a little fun with their clothes too.
Also, wait until you see the fun accessories for your home you’ll find. Crazy cool antiques that Michael finds when he is out and about, candles, acryllic walking sticks, and so much more. You just have to stop by both stores to see the whole collection, since we’re talking about many things that there is only one of.
A special note for pickle enthusisast – I know you’re out there. PIKNIK carries McClure’s Pickles – a must have Summer pantry staple. Try the juice and a sliced pickle in place of olives in a dirty martini, and make your own dirty pickle. The right pickle does matter, and don’t forget that they are great little hostess gifts
Diversity of Art
In addition to the amazing clothing and accessories, there are a number of artists featured at both locations including Paul Norwood, who spends his time painting on the Vineyard and in San Francisco. I am particularly fond of his “Blue Gulls” painting, part of the Martha’s Vineyard collection. He also features Dan VanLandingham, from West Tisbury, who has an incredible knack for making the ordinary interesting with his style of paining. When you look at PIKNIK’s website or visit the stores, you’ll see a broad range of art and artists. Beware, there is bound to be one or two pieces that you’ll want to bring home.
The PIKNIK “pop up” store is certain to be a great addition to the art and shopping scene in Edgartown. The clothing and accessories featured are going to jazz up shopping in Edgartown, and there is quite the art scene in that area including The Christina Gallery, Eisenhauer Gallery and North Water Gallery, and now PIKNIK. It’s the “arts district” of Edgartown.
Since we are a seaonal community in many ways, a “pop up” store really does make sense. It allows business owners to have an opportuintiy to reach the Summer crowd, and it helps elimate vacant store fronts – even if it’s only temporary. See you at PIKNIK in Edgartown, opening this month, and PIKNIK in Oak Bluffs, opening in June.