Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 12
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

CHARMING CHOICES: “We are a gift shop, a boutique offering a wide variety of items, including fashion and home accessories.” Jewelry, wearable art, hand blown glass, Crabtree & Evelyn products, clocks, socks, and candles are all available. Owners Eddie and Laraine Caro are enthusiastic about their new shop.

Dabblers Boutique and Gift Shop in Kingston Offers Distinctive Gifts and Accessories

Customers stopping in at Dabblers, the new gift shop in an historic building at 4587 Route 27 (Main Street) in Kingston will be intrigued. The name itself is evocative of a fun browsing and sampling experience, and the inviting boutique, which opened last August, provides a blend of appealing items in a warm, friendly atmosphere.

“One friend said to me ‘Dabblers means everything and nothing to everyone.’ That’s the beauty of it,” says owner Laraine Caro, who formerly operated an on-line business, also known as Dabblers.

“I am a retailer,” she continues. “I like to support wholesalers, and I like to offer and support American-made products. The feedback from customers is that they like everything. They are coming in every day. They all talk to each other, and they say they like the atmosphere. They call it a comfort zone. We’re like the old fashioned general store.”

The shop was totally renovated by Ms. Caro and her husband and co-owner Eddie Caro, and includes a myriad of items attractively and conveniently displayed in an uncluttered, uncrowded open manner. It makes for easy browsing and buying!

Sense of Style

“We did a complete renovation when we moved in, and one of our big surprises was to find — unknown to anyone — a skunk living in the building!” says Ms. Caro. “We were able to trap it and release it in the country.”

After that, there were no further wildlife episodes, and the Caros were able to set up the shop with the intent of attracting customers and at the same time adhering to Ms. Caro’s own sense of style, taste and quality, with a focus on fashion and home accessories.

“I like things that are functional and have a use,” points out Ms. Caro. “I offer things I like, keeping in mind quality and the customers’ taste and budget. We appeal to people with different tastes and different pocket books, with prices from $5 to $500.”

The great majority of products are American made, and Ms. Caro says that has been a plus. “Over the summer, we had a lot of business people from Europe coming in. They wanted to get something actually made in the U.S.A! The men often like wooden items, including our cheese boards and butter boards.”

Super Socks

Other items that have been popular with men are the handsome wooden magnifying glasses and the Davin & Kesler money clips and card cases.

The range of products offers something for everyone and for all ages. Teens like the fun T-shirts; the super socks “of many colors” with vibrant patterns and designs can fit the whole family — babies, kids, and parents. In addition, the wonderfully soft and warm alpaca socks have been welcome this cold winter.

Merino wool “hood” hats, “gauntlet” fingerless gloves, scarves of every kind, and great looking assorted sweaters in several colors are especially popular.

Jewelry is a very big item, and the store offers a varied assortment at many prices, with pewter earrings at $8. Sterling silver, semi precious stones, and hand blown glass pieces are all available, and the pewter inspirational pendants, featuring sentiments, such as “faith”, “peace”, etc. are very popular at $11. Ring holders and hair ornaments are other favorites.

Eclectic Assortment

Looking ahead to spring, there are garden ornaments and art flags in different designs and sizes. A wonderful selection of Hudson Beach glassware and soap dishes are also on hand.

Dabblers’ amazingly eclectic assortment just goes on and on … handbags and winebags, unisex watches, Northern Lights candles (among many other candles), greeting cards, Tea Forté, David Bradley chocolates, New Age piano CDs from John Scuillo, hand-crafted wooden boxes. There is truly something for everyone, and hostess gifts galore.

“I think we are known for the diversity and quality of our products,” says Ms. Caro, “and customers often come in, browse, and then come back later to buy something. We have many repeat customers already, and there has been great word-of-mouth.

“Also, customers are coming from all over. There’s a lot of traffic on Main Street during rush hour, and when the traffic slows down, drivers have time to look in our window. We actually get customers that way!”

Dabblers offers gift certificates and gift packaging. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 to 5, Sunday 10 to 3. (609) 921-8872.

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