Pine Straw, a store opening at 466 Washington St., in Wellesley this fall, wants to help you wow your party guests and be a great guest yourself.
Wellesley’s Tracy Cranley says her business will specialize in reasonably-priced tabletop items, home accents and personal accessories. Translated: Everything from tablecloths to platters to candles to jewelry to clothing.
“I’ve purchased some beautiful wall decor and artwork. I’ll provide a great deal of barware, including glasses and pitchers and wine stoppers. We will carry many items that I feel are a must have for every hostess,” says Cranley, a self-described passionate shopper and party host. “Many items will have a rustic and/or vintage feel…”
Beyond the merchandise it carries, Pine Straw will dedicate itself to offering knowledge and expertise to help customers pick out everything from teacher gifts to stocking stuffers, says Cranley, a Wellesley resident for the past five-and-a-half years.
Cranley got serious about opening the store early last year. She’s been busy this summer transforming the old Sports Replay space into Pine Straw and traveling to gift shows across the country to spot merchandise for her store. Cranley has been in contact with artists from Idaho to France regarding merchandise to sell at Pine Straw. (You can catch up on some of her activities via the Pine Straw blog and Facebook page — a full-blown website for the store is in the works and customers will be able to order merchandise online from there).
The name “Pine Straw” is inspired by trips Cranley and her husband have been making to the South Carolina shore since they were teens. “Shade is provided by beautiful Loblolly Pines and the earth’s sandy floor is covered in pine straw,” Cranley says. “These golden brown pine needles are beautiful to the eye, provide a sense of warmth, emit a beautiful scent, and then serve as organic renewal to the next generation of loblollies.”
Cranley says the point about “organic renewal” fits with a goal of hers to include a large stock of items that make use of recycled or re-purposed materials.
Cranley calls the location of Pine Straw a no-brainer in that there is meter-free parking available behind the store and on surrounding streets, plus the new Whole Foods (“There’s my demographic!”) and City Sports stores should boost traffic in the area. She also likes the non-cookie cutter space itself, which features prominent windows, exposed brick walls and a lofty feel.
“I think that the more that stores come and go in Wellesley, it is apparent that it is the family owned, mom-and-pop stores that really thrive — look at Wasik’s. There is nothing better than walking in there, only to be greeted by one of the Wasiks or their friendly staff. They welcome you and you feel like a part of something. That’s the feeling we are hoping to emulate at Pine Straw. We want people to know that they can count on us for fresh ideas, new and unique merchandise and a homey feel when they walk in the door.”