I was at the beach over the weekend, and had a chance to visit the owners of the best little home shop on the Delaware shore: Carolina Street, which I have mentioned briefly in a previous post. Dee Dee and Paul Phillips have lived in Fenwick for-EVER, and they regaled me with stories about old Fenwick history and people. It was a great hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon.
Just walking up to the shop, which of course faces Carolina Street on the corner of Coastal Highway in Fenwick Island, makes you smile:
The store is now housed in two buildings, separated in the middle with a courtyard containing all manner of garden pots and decorative statuary. The Phillips live above the second building, and enjoy a hidden balcony that looks down on their garden courtyard.
Here is more of what they look down at:
I had the pleasure of meeting the Phillips because their daughter Julia, the incredibly talented decorative artist who runs Monkon Studios with her husband, spotted my reference to their shop on this blog (more on Julia in a future post).
Dee Dee and Paul deserve lots of praise — along with most other retailers who are still in business in this lousy economy — for keeping their store open as wholesalers have cracked down, demanding payments up front or within 30 days on furniture and accessories. In a seasonal business, especially when they ramp up for the spring/summer rush before customers arrive to spend their money — it’s incredibly difficult to manage that kind of payment schedule.
But they have such great, whimsical taste, and that’s probably what’s kept them around — there really is something for everyone.
Their home is representative of what they sell — a mix of color, antiques, and artwork and old signs that bring a smile to your face.
The Phillips have hung signs throughout their home, which are for sale in the shop below.
Downstairs, the store offers a great mix of furniture, accessories, art and gifts.
If you find yourself in Ocean City, Bethany or Rehoboth during this next month (or better yet, when fall’s cooler temps set in), please go visit Dee Dee and Paul — as much for the delightful conversation as for what they have to offer. You’ll come away happy.