The North Star
Edentown will be “lookin’ and smellin’” good, according to new shop owners
By Joan O.A.
“The Garden” had its grand opening on Saturday, 11/5/22. I had the pleasure of perusing the space after the ribbon cutting, my eyes and nose absolutely captured by what these business collaborators have curated for visitors.
The shop is located on Main Street in an old, dark-paneled Victorian, snug between Sal’s Grocery and the occult shop. Painted a bright yellow with sparkling panels of stained glass to boot, the door emits a pleasant jingle as you step through the threshold. Immediately, you’re hit with magnificent smells, resplendent colors and seemingly endless textiles from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s that dot the walls and racks on black velvet hangers. Take a look up, and you’ll see a loft at the crook of the Victorian, where co-owner Mags sits upon a cow-patterned chair, mixing beakers of natural perfume at their desk.
In the back right corner are two fitting rooms, surrounded by a couple of plush purple velvet chairs that sandwich a tall gilded-gold-framed mirror. A message is written in purple lipstick at the top of the mirror: “Cute butt!!”
The showstopper of the shop is the broad mural painted on the wall beneath the loft, a tangle of pink, red, and black roses/flowers, with a buzzing purple neon sign that reads “The Garden,” in the center of it all. The painting was a collaborative project between owners and friends.
There is so much to take in, yet instead of overwhelm, shoppers will find a sense of calm, wonder and pleasure as they wander the aisles. Maybe it’s the scents of spruce and neroli wafting from the loft, or maybe it’s simply ~the vibe.~
There’s no question the time and care these business owners have infused into “The Garden,” and I had the opportunity to sit down with them (Jesus and Mags) to learn more about their magical shop on Main Street.
Joan: Tell us about “The Garden”–what inspired you to open this shop together?
Jesus: Well Joan, I’m a slut for clothes and vintage fashion. And Mags knows how to make people and places smell divine. We are also planning to host live music Friday nights in the shop. We thought this space could shush up Edentown a little bit–and maybe queer it up, too.
Mags: Also, JeJe told me if I didn’t open this shop with them, they’d never speak to me again. [laughs.]
Jesus: I said what I said. [laughs.]
Joan: Why call it “The Garden”?
Jesus: We want the people who walk through the shop to take in the colors, patterns, sparkles and textures of the clothes and accessories and catch the smells of Mags’s perfumes from above in her studio, facilitating the experience of walking through a queer, flashy garden. We want shoppers and visitors to be enchanted. A textile-sensory wonderland!
Mags: We will also be showcasing bouquets by Ruth throughout the shop. Ruth will be opening up her own flower shop eventually and we are excited to have her floral genius grace our shop in the meantime.
Jesus: We definitely want to include wares by other makers in Edentown, too, so if you’re reading this and you have a product you feel would be a good fit for our shop, come see us!!
Joan: So what’s this about live music?
Mags: This town is sorely lacking in the live music venue department. We want to change that. We will do open mic nights most Fridays, with a show by local bands one Friday a month. Starting with my band, The Fallen Angels. Also, we are looking for a lead guitarist/vocalist! Come find me, angel!
Joan: So Jesus, what got you into clothes? And Mags, perfumery?
Jesus: Well for one, I’m gay, if you didn’t know. [laughs.] And clothes have always felt like a safe yet exciting way for me to express myself! I’ve always had a knack for putting together bitchin’ ensembles, and combining pieces that perhaps others wouldn’t think to combine. I’m excited to build some community around expression and fashion. Also, clothes are my friends! Seriously! I loved putting together this shop because I got to connect with so many textiles. Every piece, each thread, has a story, history, energy. Someone made the piece, another person wore it, and now it will live another life with somebody else! Magic.
Joan: Your love for clothes is so evident just in the way you’ve set up the pieces in the shop–I can’t wait for you to style me!
Jesus: Yes girl! I know just the piece for you–a vintage red romper that would be striking with your hair.
Joan: Can’t wait! Okay, Mags, tell me about your journey with perfumery.
Mags: Honestly? I’m fairly new to perfumery. Last year my dad died on Halloween, and what followed was a deep and dark navigation of grief. The only thing keeping me out of bed was working with Mary, JeJe’s mom, in her greenhouse. One day she was mixing up a concoction and I suggested adding tobacco oil to bring a sweet, earthy smell into the brew–it was really stinky otherwise. It worked, and because of her sweet encouragement, I kept experimenting with different scents. And here I am. I also love to do people’s make-up, so JeJe and I might transform this place into a studio for boudoir and/or glamor shots one day. Who knows!!?
Joan: So sorry about your dad–we all miss him. It’s beautiful that part of your grief, perhaps, transformed into perfumery. Would you say that’s true?
Mags: Absolutely. Death is transformative.
Jesus: …Mags always keepin’ it light [both laugh.]. They are a scent genius and between my fashion styling and her scent styling…Edentown will be lookin’ and smellin’ real good!
There you have it, folks. I highly recommend checking out “The Garden.” Your eyes, your nose–really all of your senses are sure to be enchanted.
P.S. This Friday, 11/11, the shop will have its official grand opening with a special performance by local band (including shop co-owner Mags), The Fallen Angels. Doors open at 5pm for browsing/lite food and cock/mocktails, and then music starts at 8pm. Don’t miss out. You’ll find me there wearing my new red romper!
Thanks for reading,y’all! Lots more to come throughout each week. Please let me know what you think in the comments below—I’d love to hear from you!
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Check out my perfumery at www.maryadelle.com if you’d like to shop my scent-sory wares.
Be back soon with another story for you!