Nest boutique finds a home in Mystic
Mystic – Marcia Jamerson was a graphic designer employed as an art director in the mid-1990s when she decided to switch careers and open a boutique.
Always crafty and with an eye towards whatever new was trending, she had been making items like French ribbon rose pins, berets and scarfs and selling them to shops along the southeastern Connecticut shoreline when she realized one day that she’d like to be a shopkeeper, too.
“I just thought I wanted to do the same thing,” she said, of the owners of the gift, clothing and accessory shops from Madison to Mystic that she visited to sell whatever she was making.
And that’s how Nest came to be.
Not long after she decided to switch careers, Jamerson found a Stonington Road property, not far from where she is located today, that she leased and opened her new business in.
She started with about 500 square feet and as other tenants in the building at 16 Stonington Road closed or relocated, she expanded her retail space. Then, about seven years ago, she moved to the larger location at 80 Stonington Road, opposite the Mystic Big Y.
A designer and artist, Jamerson also collected and sold antiques, and she folded that interest into her new shop. Today, Nest is a combination of all of Jamerson’s passions.
Jewelry, scarfs, handbags, home accessories, clothing and mantel pieces are offered for sale alongside antique trowels, hose nozzles, vintage mirrors and furniture, and beautiful old columns and doors.
“It’s all kind of intuitive,” she said. “I’ve always had an eye for what’s trending."
She regularly visits and buys from the gift and clothing shows in Atlanta and New York City. And, she goes “picking,” to find antiques and vintage items to mix in with what she buys at the big city shows.
But there’s also Jamerson’s handiwork — her acrylic paintings of birds and flowers and peaceful scenes, as well as the jewelry she makes with everything from beads, seeds, bangles and semi-precious stones. And there are the sachets and framed inspirational messages that she makes and paints and that customers like to buy.
Nest isn’t your ordinary store. The soft lighting, eclectic music and scent from candles and fragrant items for sale combine for a certain ambience.
“Everyone wants their home to smell like Nest,” said Jamerson.
She sells an “edited down” selection of clothing, including sought-after brands including Eileen Fisher, Habitat, Comfy and Clara Sun Woo.
Customers also come for inspirational and motivational books, such as “Lagom, The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life.”
When she opened in the original location, Jamerson said the store wasn’t much to look at — “there was no curb appeal” — but regular customers have been coming back for more than 23 years.
“Locals have always drifted in and found us, and we have our regulars from Noank, Groton, Stonington and Mystic. Those are the people who built us,” said Jamerson.
Some of her original customers are older now, and downsizing, but they continue to shop at Nest, she said, to buy for their daughters or granddaughters or friends and neighbors. Men also shop at Nest and the staff is happy to assist them in choosing a gift and then wraps it for them, too.
But it’s not just locals who are patrons, said Jamerson, relating the story of a group of about 15 women who arrived in three cars to fill the store on a recent Saturday. They told her they had come from down the shoreline to shop at Nest and have lunch at a local restaurant.
It’s easy to understand why customers enjoy the Nest experience. Every merchandise display has its own personality. There’s an old, detached white wooden door that’s been converted to a display board, holding spring flower wreaths made with embroidery hoops and whimsy wall hangings.
Some of the goods are arranged on antique furniture pieces and some of those pieces are for sale. One section looks like spring, another like the garden, and then there’s the seaside. Handbags, scarves and jewelry are big sellers, but there are bunches of pussy willows, too, and cookbooks, cocktail napkins and all kinds of great things to display on a shelf or mantel.
Pigs are popular, said Jamerson, and so are frogs. But there are also candlesticks, wooden fish, glass figurines, lamps, mirrors and so much more.
“There’s really something to suit any age or style,” said the shop owner, motioning towards the serene display of Buddhas and then the neat stacks of bath fizzies, soaps and body creams.
“We definitely have something you will love,” she said. “And you will love the experience of shopping here.”
Location: 80 Stonington Road, Mystic (opposite Big Y on Route 1)
Owner: Marcia Jamerson
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays
Phone: (860) 536-5400
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