Made In America

As a local business, we strive to support our fellow Americans. Did you know that just one manufacturing job supports five other U.S. jobs? We take pride in promoting and selling American made products. 

michaud We can’t wait to share them with you. 

paperweightice cream scoopdaphne olive1

Latest News: Behind the Scenes in Bemus

Convention Center in PHiladelphia where we shop,shop,shop.

Convention Center in Philadelphia where we shop for the store.

Cheese knive with gorgeous flare.

Cheese knife with gorgeous flare.

Ever wonder what goes on in Bemus during the off season? Well, for one, its 13 degress this morning. There are snowmobiles and ice fishermen on the lake. Last weekend, a father and his son were para-sailing across the ice. At Imagine! we are sprucing up the place. And we are shopping. Our most fun trip is to the Buyers Market of American Crafts where we explored 800 booths of stunning artisan crafted US and Canadian work.We found great stuff from 21 of our favorite artists and we added 10 new ones. We are off to more markets and will keep you posted. Can’t wait to show you all the goodies in May.

Daphne jewelry is big, bold and very light. Love.

Daphne jewelry is great big, bold and very light.

Ableman Glass

Ableman Glass

Award winning Arden necklace of multi-layered clay.

Award winning Arden jewelry of multi-layered clay.

Lake Erie Living Names us #7

Lake Erie Living

 

Did you see we were #7 in this month’s Lake Erie Living’s, 10 Great Boutiques, Galleries and Stores around the Lake? Just in case you need another reason to come and visit us this summer.

 

 

Bemus T-Shirt : 50% Off , while they last!

Bemus TshirtThese are soft,soft and come in two colors;

Banana or Tahiti Blue.

Things to do in Bemus Point : SHOPPING!

 

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There are so many things to do in Bemus Point, like boating, dinning at one of the 9 restaurants, watching live entertainment on the floating stage, but don’t forget the shopping. There are 14 shops to choose from. Each of the shops has its own character, so there is a wide selection. They are specialty stores that feature gifts hand picked by really passionate shop keepers . Because of this, it is rare that you will  find the same item from store to store.

Imagine! is an artistic mix of mostly made-in-America, and/ or made in the county, and/ or made right at the store gifts. You will often find one of a kind gifts. The  collection is eclectic and includes collectible and vintage pieces as well as contemporary work. One of the shops’s specialties is a romantic selection of Estate Jewelry. Designer and statement jewelry are a favorite,too. Many pieces are made exclusively for the store. They range from fun and funky to upscale and artsy. In addition to jewelry, the shop showcases leather, wood and ceramic pieces as well as hand-dyed silk accessories including scarves, ponchos and ruanas. Hand-woven linen wraps and hand- knit, felted bags, hats and mittens are often on the shelves  . Glass is a favorite of the store owners and leaded, fused and blown glass are to be found throughout the shop. The place brings out your inner crafty so you might be inspired to make something of your own including beach glass jewelry, beaded or strung bracelets, rings or necklaces or you could learn to knit and crochet . There is a cozy section of the store where the coffee is always brewing and you can bring a project to work on or schedule a class for you and your friends. The store has evolved since it first opened in the spring of 2006 and it is easy to see the influence of the owner’s background in theater. Often customers will say that the shop is “different” “unique” like a “treasure hunt” “eye candy” Imagine! is just one of the the fun stores in Bemus. The village offers shopping the way it should be  where there are goodies waiting to be discovered that you won’t find just anywhere.IMG_2774photo (23)

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Welcome Back

After a winter break, we are excited to see everyone again. We want to catch up on what you have been doing over the winter, what have you been making? Did you travel? Also, we can’t wait to show you all the great things we found on our buying trips. And we put fresh paint on the walls so the shop looks light and airy. We are going to open the doors on Thursday April 2nd. and have a little open house on the Sat. the 6th.  So please stop by  have a cookie and say hi. We have new gifts arriving all spring.

Barrick Candles

Barrick Candles

Jewelry Jewelry Jewelry

Brooch from Michael Michaud

Yancey and I just recently returned from Philadelphia where we shopped at the Buyers Market of American Crafts. We met with artists like Barb Levy http://www.barbielevyjewelry.com/  and Jill O’Reilley http://jilloreilly.com/artist.html whose jewelry has been featured at our shop. We bought great new pieces from them and other jewelry artists whose jewelry we love to carry. And  we found some artists that will be completely new for this coming season like Starbird http://starbirdjewelry.com/index.html They are a mother/daughter jewelry- making team from Texas. Their work is so unusual because of its textures. We drooled over the work of Megan Auman http://www.etsy.com/shop/meganauman  who designs in clean lines with steel and sterling and Kevin O’Grady who makes bracelets of glass. We put them on our wish list for the near future. In all we visited over 250 jewelry booths. There were so many choices, it took several days of contemplating. We got so excited that we decided to re-do our jewelry displays and are currently working on them. One of the artists that we have been wanting to carry for several years is Michael Michaud who designs for Four Season’s Design Group. He is a nature jeweler. His pallette is the garden, or the woods, anywhere nature is displaying its beauty. His designs are actually cast from real flowers and leaves and they are stunning.http://www.fourseasonsdesigngroup.com/silver-about-us We found necklaces made to look like pussy willows and pink miniature pearls that circle your wrist like lilac stems. We can’t wait untill we open the boxes and show them to you!  By April 4th. we hope to have them start streaming in for you to see and enjoy. In next week’s post, we’ll tell you about what we bought besides jewelry. Can’t wait to share our shopping experience with you.

Shopping!

The georgeous blown glass hearts from Chicago artist Jeff Price

We are pretty excited, because on Friday, Yancey and I are headed for Philadelphia and the Buyers Market of American Crafts show. This is a wholesale-only event that features the work of hundreds of extraordinary artist from the U.S. and Canada. It is held at the Philadelphia Convention Center. We’ll get an early start because we want to arrive by 4p.m. That is when they will open about 1/3  of the floor, the jewelry exhibitors area. Usually, they greet you with Mimosas. Lovely, you can sip and browse. Everything  is artisan- crafted and it makes you proud to see how ingenious our American artist are. It can be overwhelming, though, Last year there were about 250 jewelers represented. It takes hours to view. The work ranges from diamonds in minimal classic settings to very artsy or whimsical designs. Nothing looks like the jewelry in stores at the mall. These designers are award- winning. And we get to meet them and talk about their work. We are looking for new trends from artists we already carry and hope to add some new ones to our collections. After hours of browsing and taking notes, we head out to find dinner. We usually end up at one of the Thai or Asian Fusion places just down the block. But we know that before we leave Philly, we’ll make our way over to the Italian restaurant that everybody from the show loves.  After dinner, we comb through the catalogues that we have gathered on the show floor and mark booth numbers that we will re- visit. Then we crash. In the a.m.  I’m up and out by 7:30 in order to grab a cup of coffee and attend the seminars offered by national experts on all kinds of topics. Last year I was really inspired by the editor of Gift Ware Magazine who did a slide presentation about store windows. As soon as I got home, I asked Vern Johnson make a platform and had lighting installed in our windows. All year, we had so much fun designing displays, using information that I learned from the speaker.

So then for the next two days, its hour and hours on the floor, checking more than 500 additional booths in aisles divided by categories such as “Glass” “Ceramics” “Apparel” “Mixed Media”etc. Its a little crazy- making because there is so much to see, so many decisions to make. We get sore from walking. Aspirin. We have to take short breaks. Creme Bruelee. We have to keep checking our budgets. Coffee. We have to try not to fall in love with too much. Wine. Every night we go over our work sheets. Tums

 

So we’ll let you know how our trip went this year. Here’s the most important part, we will be thinking of you when we shop, because that is what it is all about. We want you to come to the store with the same excitement as we feel at the show. We want to find the most wonderfu, fun, interesting, treasures in the country for you. Cheers!

Gift Shopping in Chautauqua County

Niche Award winner 2011 hand sewn leather bag by WiliNilli

Lake Erie Glass pendant

Ruby Bracelet

 

Shopping on vacation is part of the fun,right?. There is a sense that you won’t find this item at home. And you’re probably right. If you are a boutique shopper, cool little indie shops are where you find your visual fix, so don’t miss Imagine! in Bemus Point when you are cruising Chautauqua county. Imagine! is an ever changing mix of eye candy and carefully selected eclectic treasures. Some are from county artisans and some are  produced at the shop itself. The store features American made, artisan- crafted gifts gathered from travels throughout the U.S. . So that means local customers don’t have to leave the county to see some of the most stunning work that is available. They can find it anytime at Imagine! You’ll see a mix of fiber, wood, ceramics, leather, glass and particularly jewelry of every kind.The staff is particularly fond of estate pieces with diamonds, pearls, gold as well as contemporary work from national and local artists. Here’s the thing about Imagine! , the work of the artists is inspiring, so then walk into the back of the store and you’ll find a classroom where visiting and local instructors teach you how to make something of your own. Luxury yarns and beads from around the globe are available for you to play with. Some of the items are so easy to make, 12 year- olds have mastered them in minutes. There are jewelry techniques, clay, fused glass, felting and more. The atmosphere is fun and welcoming, so if you are a curious shopper, we’ll see you there. Hours are seasonal so check our website or call 716 386 2244.

Winter Fun

 Here is what has been going on in Bemus Point this winter.. Gals from Jamestown,Westfield, Mayville , Dunkirtk and Erie, Pa have been visiting the store and some have been gathering to knit informally in the afternoons or take classes on Saturdays at Imagine! Here Amy McElrath models a versatile vest made by Sandy Cannone. This is flattering to all figure types and great to wear over jeans or dress it up over a skirt. The yarn is Katmandu Chunky from Queensland. The project goes quickly. Sandy is offering a class  by appointment so call if you need help with this one.
 Here is Amy again in a cabled turtlenect made with a combination of Lambs Pride Chunky and Crystal Palace Kid Seta mohair.  You don’t need a jacket when you wear this warm outdoor sweater.

One of our recent classes is a no-Knit class. Lyn has come up with a fancy felted soap (as seen in Anthropologie and other fancy stores). The girls made their own versions and here are some samples from that fun day. The soap is encased in roving, then felted (no knitting involved) then embellished with beads. Washing with the soap exfoliates the skin. They are beautiful and practical.
The soaps pictured are student work from the class.
Darcy’s soap, pink and girley
 Lyn and one of her students, Christy, enjoy a creative interchange.
  Cathy’s soap is an earthy one 

Lyn will be offering more classes in felted soaps this spring and summer.