02 August 2014

Setting-up Shop at Salem's West India Goods Store

I feel like I've been trying to prepare for the Salem Maritime Festival for months. While I didn't get to create as many accessories as I had wanted to--July is a busy time for my work--I made a few new things and spent the day with good company in a great location.

Here are photos from our shop in Salem...

Milliner Kitty Calash assists our best patron Mrs. B. as they review the latest trims, several of which are lately arrived from the West Indies.

Our shop at the West India Goods Store offers a fine assortment of jewelry...
 ...and reticules--all in the latest Parisian fashions.
 We oft carry ready made goods for the very young.
Ms. Burnston, a frequent customer, visits our shop.
 "I paid for my bonnet in cash over a fortnight ago, though I have not received it. When will it be ready?" 
Ms. M, our bandbox maker, prepares the box for Ms. Burnton's absent bonnet. As you can see, Ms. M is astonished to learn that it is not available.
 Kitty's very fine silk bonnets, though none suit Ms. Burnston. (Which you may soon find on Etsy.)
As you can see, we offer a diverse selection of bonnet fashions--all at the best prices in Salem.
Late in the day, Mrs. B returns to share the gossip that she overheard during teatime. The cordwainer's new apprentice has runaway and it is believed he has stolen from several stores in town!

 Ms. M confronts Kitty about Ms. Burnston's missing bonnet.
Kitty explains that she had made it, and that I had trimmed it, yet the whereabouts of Ms. Burnston's bonnet remain a mystery to us all. Perhaps that new apprentice ran off with it?
With such enticing displays...
...we can understand how one would be tempted by our goods.
As my husband is at sea, my daughter, Miss A, spends many hours at my side while I work. (Image courtesy Kitty Calash.)

You can oft find her in the corner playing with wood toys... (Image courtesy Kitty Calash.)

 ...or sweeping.
 She insists that we have the cleanest shop in town.
We owe much our of our shop's success to Mrs. B's husband, a Navy officer of great fortune. He is always prompt to pay when Mrs. B purchases on credit.
Our shop's location offers an excellent view of the harbor and on occasion a fiddler and dancers perform in the courtyard. The talented Miss Quinn can be seen at the center.
As you can see, we are indeed the finest shop in Salem...
...and rival the selection you might find in Boston or even Philadelphia. So it would not be a surprise if a runaway apprentice would be tempted to take goods of quality.

My daughter and I wear new gowns---hers is a sweet frock and mine a less trimmed copy of Miss Lewis's morning dress.
I had to end the day with a Federal selfie.


  1. This was such a fun post! Oh how I wish I could come visit your shop! It definitely looks like the best shop around!

  2. Do let us know if the bonnet turns up! Such a mystery! :)

  3. It was lovely to visit your shop. In fact, one person mentioned that it helped her understand why a new ribbon could cause such excitement when it brought to mind ideas of retrimming bonnets and adding ribbons to plain dresses. You certainly did bring together a large amount of beautiful items!


  4. The shop looks amazing! There were so many events this weekend, looks like the one you attended was a lot of fun!

  5. Wonderful post! Great photos and narrative!

  6. That was fun! Apparently I was in a scenario I didn't know anything about!

  7. Loved looking at the pics you and Kitty posted! Looks like it was a wonderful event and you ladies had a fabulous display. Molly was at OSV and wishes she could have been in two places at one time ;)

  8. This is amazing in every respect! I wish such shops would still exist with all the tailored garments, much anticipated accesoiries of the latest fashion and always a exchange haven of the gossip in town...



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