It’s the porch that pulls you in first. On a given day, you might see a collection of antique rockers, or birdhouses made by a local carpenter. Today, because the weather is sunny and warm, it’s a scattering of picnic baskets. But don’t stop at the porch. Nana’s Jules, a shop devoted to artfully presented antiques and locally made crafts, is worth a closer look.
“I’ve always been a collector,” says owner Pam Lavoie. “I’ve always had antiques and vintage things. I’ve always wanted to have a little place like this. A few years ago, I met a wonderful man: we got married, and he afforded me the ability to follow my dream, so I did.” She and her intern, a URI student named Adam Markey, have been running the store together for almost a year now. “He’s my right arm,” she says.
What makes Nana’s Jules unique is the creativity Pam captures in the place, and the myriad elements that one small shop manages to encompass. One element is the vintage and household items that local people bring in to sell. “We have turn of the century tables, and a pair of chairs from Barrington Bible College. Everything has a story. I try to find out as much about every piece that comes in as I can,” says Pam.
When items come in that aren’t in perfectly saleable condition, Pam will refurbish them herself. She refinishes tables and chairs, and repaints pottery and vases. She recently worked on a set of cabinets from the 1930s that she painted into newer looking shabby chic. “It still looks antique,” Pam says, “but it brings them to a clean state.”
Another element to Nana’s Jules is the arts and crafts by local artists that decorate the space – everything from artwork and painted wine glasses to jewelry and handmade essential oil soaps. “That’s always been my dream, to have local crafters and artists,” Pam says. “We’re keeping it in the community, and we’re able to give back to the community. My customers are local, my artists are local, and their work is selling.”
“I have things that are 200 years old,” Pam says. “I have brand new restored items. We have things that are $2, and things that are $200. Things go so quickly here that the room changes over almost weekly.” That element of surprise is what keeps her passionate about her work, and what keeps customers coming back to this charming shop. “Every day, I never know what’s going to come through the door.” 54 Richmond Townhouse Road, Richmond. 491-9930