shopping

The Best Gifts You Won't Find On Amazon

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Yes, it's true. There are some products that simply cannot be found in Amazon's giant marketplace. And they are wonderful. Durable. Beautiful. Functional. And often, inexpensive.

I'm talking about handmade goods from the world's artisans.

Felted Polar Bear from Globe-In

When I lived in New York City, finding one-of-a-kind, handcrafted gifts (usually for myself) was easy. Besides numerous independent shops in my neighborhood, there were large open-air markets and street fairs with goods from every imaginable source. Outside the city, things get a little trickier, but you can still find many locally made products at markets and fairs. On the Vineyard, we have the Vineyard Artisans Holiday Festival and Featherstone Art's Holiday Gift Show making a wide array of beautiful Vineyard-made products available in the winter season. 

If you are looking for something a little farther afield, there are still more options. Many of us are familiar with Etsy, a marketplace for primarily North American and European artists and artisans. A new marketplace--funded in large part by Deepak Chopra--has come online to help artists in remote or impoverished areas market their products to a global audience. The platform, called Globe-in, connects a network of "Artist Helpers" with artisans living in places where access to technology is limited. Globe-in's helpers provide photography, writing, and technological support to help the artists reach international buyers through the online platform. Globe-in even offers a subscription box highlighting a geographic area each month.

Studded leather wrap bracelet from the Vineyard's own Rebeccah J.

Of course you don't have to cross the ocean to find great handmade products (ok, maybe just Vineyard Sound). If even that's too far for you, many Island artists and artisans have web stores, and I am working hard to bring new talents online through Tisbury Turkey. In the meantime, take a moment to visit some of our favorites available online: Rebeccah JMartha's Vineyard Sea Salt, and Blanchard Photographic Impressions. Of course, you can order a hand-selected assortment of Island-made goods to be delivered to your doorstep seasonally when you order a Vineyard Seasons Goodbox right here on Tisbury Turkey

So there you have it: some pretty amazing gifts you won't find on Amazon, but you will find online, all supporting independent artists and artisans on the island and across the world.

Too Cool For Turkey: Chicken Alley Rules the Roost

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Its official name is the Martha's Vineyard Community Services Thrift Shop, but everyone knows it as Chicken Alley these days. It's basically the Vineyard version of Goodwill; all sales benefit the Martha's Vineyard Community Services network of support and community assistance. And it's cool. So very cool.  It wasn't easy, but I pared it down to five exceedingly cool things you should know about Chicken Alley.

1. This Dog.

His name is Providence ("Provi"). He's part store-manager, part security lead, part art curator, and presumably part-Chihuahua. He even has his own bed on the counter next to the cash register. Be sure to say hello when you stop by.

2. It's called "Chicken Alley."

Who calls a store Chicken Alley, you ask? The guy who drove the moving truck, that's who. When the Martha's Vineyard Community Services Thrift Shop moved from Main Street in Vineyard Haven to its current location, the mover, who lived nearby, referred to the new location as "Chicken Alley." None of the Thrift Shop workers had heard it called Chicken Alley before, but sure enough, the stretch of Lagoon Pond Road between Five Corners and the Lagoon has long been called "Chicken Alley" by old timers. Back in the day, it was common for folks along that stretch to keep chickens for their families, which made for considerable poultry traffic along that stretch of road. Hence the name. My very own old timer (Mom) verifies that indeed there was an overabundance of chickens down on Lagoon Pond Road in her youth, but then she also claims to know the guy who brought the first skunks to the Island, so take it as you will.

4. chickenalleythrift on Instagram

Image Credit Noava Knight

That's right. You will find shockingly great fashion and style photos by the ultra-awesome Vineyard native Noavakay Knight. She is also the genius behind the Needle Book Fashion Show, shop pup Providence's human, a fashion designer in her own right and jill-of-all-trades at Chicken Alley. Hired by clever store manager Sandy Pratt "to do that social media stuff" (with a fluttering wave of the hand), Knight delivers Chicken Alley coolness to the web near-seven-days-a-week. Learn more about Knight and her work on the Point B Realty blog and follow the chickenalleythrift instagram feed for a stream of fabulousness.

3. The Needle Book Fashion Show and Chicken Alley Art Sale

Image Credit Noava Knight

The biggest event this August on the Vineyard? Sorry, Mr. President, the paparazzi are going to be too busy over on Lagoon Pond Road next weekend to bother chasing down your caravan.  The weekend opens with the Needle Book Fashion Show at the thrift shop Friday,  August 15 at 7 pm. The Art Sale opens in the same location on Sunday, August 17 and runs all week long. 

If you're wondering whether a thrift shop fashion show can rival the runways at New York's Fashion Week, you clearly know nothing about Martha's Vineyard. Needle Book features one-of-a-kind fashion by the Vineyard's own talented designers. This year, a generous donation from Valerie Beggs--the island designer behind "Woodland Waders" who now designs for Woolrich--will be highlighted, as well as designs from a variety of Vineyard designers including up-cycling artist Beldan Radcliffe, Randi & Marlene of Studio Shop,  and the classic, romantic atelier Chrysal Parrot whose work has even graced the Red Carpet. And that's just the beginning! Hundreds of pieces of original art, vintage prints and collectibles will be available at the Art Sale Sunday and continuing all week long. 

4. Fashion Show & Art Sale Posters

The art work created to advertise the art work for sale at Chicken Alley deserves its own mention. Island artist Marshall Pratt designs the unique posters for the Art Sale and Needle Book Fashion Show, and they are worth celebrating in their own right. Whimsical, enigmatic, and collectible, they capture the spirit of the events and of Chicken Alley itself. And now they can be purchased online through Tisbury Turkey to benefit Martha's Vineyard Community Services. Decorate your walls with Vineyard-grown art and help a great cause. Just how we like it!

5. $43,000 for charity. In one weekend.

You heard me right: according to the MV Times, The Needle Book Fashion Show and Chicken Alley Art Sale raised $43,000 last year. In one weekend. By far the biggest and most anticipated events hosted by Chicken Alley, the weekend's activities draw hundreds of visitors to the little shop on Lagoon Pond Road. Feeling inspired? Donations for the Art Sale are collected year around at the shop. Donations of all types of good quality, undamaged, salable goods are collected every day during business hours. For details, see the Thrift Shop page of the MVCS website here.  And be sure to stop by Chicken Alley for some very special events that do #theVineyardGood next weekend.

 

 

 

 

5 Tips To Maximize Your Online Shopping

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1. Start at Tisbury Turkey. Every. Single. Time.

We are always adding new stores, so you never know whether that must-have item is available from one of our merchants.  Make TisburyTurkey.com your browser's home page so you're always reminded to start with us.

2. Go to TisburyTurkey.com before you add items to your cart.

Some merchants (like Amazon) only credit us for items that were added to your cart after you clicked on our link. That means if you load up your cart, then go to TisburyTurkey.com and click through to Amazon, we won't get credit for the items you buy! Best way to remember? See #1.

3. Try out a new store.

See if you can meet or beat what you usually pay for products and services through one of our partner vendors. Ever used Drugstore.com for diapers? Shutterfly for photos and invites?Check them out. What about travel? Maybe you have a favorite site, but we don't partner with it. Check out the prices at one of our travel partners and see how it compares. There's no harm in shopping around, right? 

4. Take advantage of ship-to-store.

Maybe there are items you'd normally go into one of the big box stores to purchase and bring home. Order that TV or computer through BestBuy.com or Walmart via TisburyTurkey.com and you can still pick it up at your local branch.

5. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

We'll let you know if an unbeatable deal comes through, so you can grab it before it expires. Show off your island loyalty by sharing the news of your purchases with your friends and followers to keep the momentum going.

Valentine's Day Countdown: The clock is ticking

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Ok, with only a week to go, I'm not sure you can get these on time, but it's worth trying. These gifts are so thoughtful and so cool that your Valentine won't even notice they're late. 

Custom 3-D Printed Jewelry from Dyo

We're not talking plastic here, people. Dyo uses real metals like brass and sterling silver with designs that can be fully customized. Need to get more involved with the design process? Build your own 3-D model from scratch or from a 2-D image through Dyo's design tool Matter.io. You can make your own legos, people. Who wouldn't love that?

Via Boston.com

Personalized Leather Goods from MOXIE & Oliver

Surprise your Valentine with a handworked leather wallet, belt, or book printed with your wedding vows, a meaningful poem, or (OMG!) a marriage proposal.  These make a beautiful, sensuous gift that will be cherished for many, many years to come.

Note: Moxie & Oliver is not an official affiliate of Tisbury Turkey, but they've agreed to give you free shipping on orders over $50 and us 5% of your purchase price when you use the promo code OSCAR at her Etsy store. (Not available at www.moxieandolliver.com.) 

 

What are you waiting for? Get shopping now, and be sure to tell them Oscar sent you!

Gift Guide For The Manly Man

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Classic, rugged, and gorgeous. (The gifts and the man.)

Click on images to purchase the item or browse for other products from that store.

Old West Shot Glasses

Old West Shot Glasses

They're incredibly sturdy and will last for generations. The Art of Manliness Legend has it that back in the Old West, cowboys would trade a bullet cartridge for a small amount of alcohol, and the shot glass proved the perfect size to do the trick. Fact or myth, our manly Old West Shot Glasses will make you feel right at home as you enjoy whiskey, vodka, or your other favorite liquors just like a settler or an outlaw. So if you�re ready to pay tribute to the Western saloons of the U.S., grab a bottle of spirits (or a few), invite some friends, and get pouring

Sevenly Love Tee

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This versatile crew neck gives him comfort and casual all in one look. With this great fit and soft feel, this shirt will instantly be his (and your) favorite tee.

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Boiled-Wool Snap-Front Pullover

Layer up for warmth. This substantial boiled-wool pullover sweater is capable of pulling double duty, serving as a toasty midlayer, or as a light outer layer on cool days when an insulated jacket is too much. Solid-brass snaps. Soft cowbelly-leather trim. Rib-knit hem and cuffs. Pure wool. Dry clean. Imported.Sizes: M(38-40, L(42-44, XL(46-48, XXL(50-52.

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Shave Soap

Shave Soap

There’s something quite reassuring about shave soap. Our rich-lathering, dermatologist-approved Shave Soap updates this classic with vitamin E and tropical fragrance. An experience that gentlemen across all ages can enjoy.

Stanley Thermos

LAD1138: Features: -Thermos. -Green color. -Unbreakable steel material. -Stainless steel inner. -Easy-turn dial opens and closes stopper. -Adjustable flow-set dial for light or maximum flow. -Convenient carry and pour handle. -Keeps liquid hot or cold all day. -No leaks-no spills. -Capacity: 1 Quart. -Overall dimensions: 4.1 H x 14.25 W x 3.9 D.

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Sperry Topsider Shoes Gold Cup Gold Bay Boot

The classic winter boot is now styled to the next level as part of the Gold Cup Collection. The Gold Bay Boot features premium seam-sealed waterproof leather uppers and are lined with luxuriously soft deerskin and insulation for warmth.