Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Save May 28 for Shopping the Townwide Tag Sale

In Chester CT Events, Shopping on May 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Chester’s 26th Annual Townwide Tag Sale will be on Saturday, May 28 – the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Sales open at 8:00 a.m. and end by 3:00 (or earlier). The event is rain or shine.

townwide tag sale 1


You’ll find dozens of tag sales throughout the entire town of Chester, in residences and businesses.

As you enter town, you will see friendly volunteers selling maps (a mere $1) that will give you the locations of everyone hosting a tag sale. Spend more time with the maps and less time trying to find the sales by randomly driving around– although, that is fun,  too.

Make a day of it and enjoy our beautiful Town!

townwide tag sale 2

When you are ready to take a break, our restaurants welcome you with coffee, fresh baked treats, and great food any time of day.  Our downtown merchants will welcome you with open arms with shelves stocked with special and galleries filled with unique objects of desire. Make a day of it!   We’ve been revitalizing our downtown area – check out the new bridge (or bridgework) and sidewalks!!

Please Drive Carefully and Good Luck!

If you have questions or require more information, please email

Dina Varano Celebrates 25 Years in Business

In Chester Business, History, Shopping on October 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

The current exhibition at Dina Varano Gallery celebrates Dina’s 25th year in business.  A source of extraordinary inspiration, this collection is a “must-see” for both aspiring artists/entrepreneurs and fans of art and jewelry  alike.

The show’s opening was a festive celebration and most attendees were adorned in their favorite Dina Varano jewelry from across the past two and a half decades. A book is in production to accompany the show, featuring customers and collectors’ favorite pieces along with stories and memories of how each piece was received.  There was an in-house photographer to capture the opening evening’s essence and to record additional images for the book. The gallery is accepting submissions in the year to come, in hopes to publish by the close of this 25th year.dina spine back piece with tahitian pearl

In addition to Dina’s jewelry, photos and articles are on display, showcasing details of the path Dina has traveled, beginning with her years at RISD on to the conception of Dina Varano Gallery and following its incarnations over the years.

In among the archives on display, fans and patrons may learn little known facts about the artist. For example: Dina’s brief storefront on Main Street in Deep River (below), opened during the summer of her sophomore year at RISD. The precocious art student took over the space (and kept the shop’s apropos name “…on the Verge of Chic”).  She hosted events and thus began her local following. Dina returned to RISD that fall and the following semester traveled abroad to an Honors Study in Rome. She later returned to Italy in 1991 to study with a Master Goldsmith and took part in an invitational show in London.

dina 1989 deep river

One of the many photographs in this retrospective exhibit is from a fashion invitational show at the American Craft Museum in New York.  With its beautiful expression of movement, Dina’s Spine Necklace (shown above) was designed with the intention of being worn down the back. The Spine Necklace hangs in the gallery (above the photograph) and is crafted from sterling silver with a Tahitian pearl at its base. It measures 10.5″ long, hanging from a chain made by Dina that measures 18″ in length.

Another important photo in the exhibit is one of Pablo Picasso finishing a meal having, merely, a fishbone remaining. Dina has created many designs based on the construction of a fishbone and this photo has often served as inspiration to her. Several pieces of jewelry in the gallery are thoughtfully displayed beside their inspiration to invoke a sense of the process. Devotees have become fascinated with seeing finished, wearable pieces of jewelry that were inspired by an original form, as it is in nature. For example, a piece of birch bark, displayed next to a bracelet and ring, reflecting its form in oxidized and brushed sterling silver.

dina natural bark sterling silver cuff bracelet, oxidized silver ring

After graduating from RISD, Dina opened her studio/gallery on Main Street in Essex. During these years, in addition to designing, making and selling her jewelry and art to local clients, she began receiving interest from larger retailers like Barney’s. Also, museum shops began to feature her work. For instance, SFMOMA Museum Store highlighted her collection for its lyrical movement during an Alexander Calder exhibition.  Dina began to travel all over the country (New York, Chicago, San Francisco) with her jewelry to exhibit for retailers at trade shows. At one time, she was carrying close to 200 wholesale accounts.

In 1995, Dina Varano Gallery opened its doors in Chester and has remained a destination on charming Main Street. Dina Varano became the go-to shop for, not only, her innovative designs but for gifts, tabletop and accessories. Recent renovations in 2013 have brought a fresh, new look to the gallery in hope to “impart new vigor”. Although, still accompanied by a carefully curated selection of fashion accessories and objects for décor, the jewelry is the focus. Dina feels an important part of the process of operating a business for 25 years (and counting) is to continually add crisp ideas and creations, and sometimes that means the space, itself.

Undoubtedly, this retrospective show has been a time of reflection. And often reflection brings invaluable inspiration. So, what is next for this artist/entrepreneur? One thing is certain. The devotion to her craft and the commitment to her philosophy will continue for many, many years to come.

The current exhibit celebrating 25 years is on display at 27 Main Street in Chester until October 25th.The gallery and the collection are continuing to develop an online presence. Visit Find Dina Varano Gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

Sidewalk Sales Day – Aug. 29

In Chester CT Events, Shopping on August 18, 2015 at 11:18 am

The Chester Squirrel is on the run again – this time carrying a Sidewalk Sale banner for Chester’s End-of-Summer Sidewalk Sales Day on Saturday, Aug. 29. sidewalk sale Chester 2015 poster

Beginning at 9 a.m. on the last Saturday of August, start exploring Chester Center shops and galleries for Sidewalk Sale specials.

At ELLE Design's Sidewalk Sale!

At ELLE Design’s Sidewalk Sale!

You’ll find stunning and unique unframed art at Maple & Main Gallery, antiques at Chester Americana Antiques & Gallery, vintage pieces at Ceramica, apparel at Compass Rose, purses at Lark, and much much more in every shop in Chester. Specials may be indoors or on the sidewalk – keep looking!

Great deals on purses (and lots more) at Lark during the Sidewalk Sale Day!

Great deals on purses (and lots more) at Lark during the Sidewalk Sale Day!


At Red Pepper, you’ll find clothing, hats, handbags, scarves, handblown glass, ceramics at 20-50% off.

At Red Pepper, you’ll find clothing, hats, handbags, scarves, handblown glass, ceramics at 20-50% off.


When you get tired of shopping, find a Sidewalk Sale Special at one of Chester’s great restaurants. And then head over to the Chester Fair for lots more small-town fun. (You do not want to miss the Chester Fair!)

Compass Rose

At Compass Rose: “Our extremely popular tanks from CT based Cinder & Salt will be just $19.99 during the sidewalk sale! (Normally $24-$32!!!)”

More info about the Sidewalk Sales will be posted regularly on



Congratulations to Dina Varano!

In Chester Business, Shopping on October 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

Dina Varano Chester CT

Congratulations to Dina Varano for being voted #1 Artisan Jewelry!


Best Of Shoreline Dina Varano Chester CT

Chester CT Townwide Tag Sale May 26, 2012

In Chester CT Events, Shopping on May 17, 2012 at 7:54 am

Chester Townwide Tag Sale
Date: Saturday, May 26, 2012
Hours: 8am to 3pm

Location: all over town; maps at Town Center
Description: Usually over 60 tag sales throughout town run by local residents and businesses. Maps with locations of all sales are distributed at the Town Center for $1 each.
More info:
860-526-8440 / 860-510-3268

Leiva Jewelry Spring Trunk Show

In Chester CT Events, Shopping on April 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Mandy Carroll Leiva unviels her new collection

Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th
11am – 6pm

Lori Warner Gallery is pleased to again welcome Mandy to the gallery to show some of her new work inspired by travels to Argentina. This two day event will unveil a new Spring collection bursting with color and new designs in colored diamonds, sapphires, tourmaline and more.

they’ll also have a limited number of past collections on sale for Friday and Saturday only.
The perfect Mother’s Day present! We hope you can join us!

A New Line Of Olive Oil Soap

In Chester Business, Health, Shopping on February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

Beautiful to look at, amazing to smell…these 100% natural soaps make wonderful gifts or keep them for yourself.  Made with Tutti Amici olive oil and organic herbs/spices and essential oils, they are great for your skin all year round!  When having them made, I couldn’t decide which scents I wanted, so we are carrying several!  In bars, rounds, liquids and foamers…take your pick!

Tutti Amici Olive Oil and new soap line is available at The Brown Eyed Girl in downtown Chester and

Dina Varano Unveils New Collection Just in time For Valentine’s Day

In Chester Business, Shopping on February 5, 2012 at 9:23 am

I am completely stealing this post from the-e-list. (The Best Source for Everything on The Shoreline.)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Visit the Dina Varano Gallery in Chester between Friday, February 10 and Sunday, February 12  to be among the first to select from her new jewelry, aptly named The Amore Collection, and you’ll receive a free personally autographed watercolor by Dina Varano.  The watercolors reflect Dina’s inspiration behind The Amore Collection.

With every purchase of Dina Varano jewelry, you’ll receive two handmade specialty chocolates from River Chocolates in Essex.

Shop the collection through Valentine’s Day, February 14.

Tag Sale Sat. Oct. 1, 2011

In Chester CT Events, Shopping on September 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Saturday, October 1st
9am to 3pm
40 Pleasant Street, Chester CT
Lots of great stuff.
Couches, shelving, dishes, books, books, books, 3 almost new mattresses, Pottery Barn farm table, chairs sets, antique wicker table & chair/set.
IKEA office furniture and shelving! file cabinet, office misc!
baskets, misc glasses & kitchen containers.
Outdoor table and chairs, garden planters and tools…..
Beautifully refinished player piano w/ 40 rolls of music!

Gorgeous piece of furniture, an amazing instrument and sound,
and turns every social gathering into a fun party!
(piano is offsite but we’re happy to show you photos 
and set up a time to play it)

so stop by even if it rains!
Come and get it cause I don’t wanna take it!
See you Saturday.
Pass this on…..

e-fair January 29, 2011 at Sonalyst Studios

In Near By Events, Restaurants, Shopping on January 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

Imagine that everything you love about the whole CT Shoreline is under one roof. You heard me … Under. One. Roof. For one day the-e-list has made the impossible, possible.

Our favorite shouter for all good things on the shoreline is having a one day e-fair at Sonalyst Studios January 29, 2011. Join Erica as she gives a big winter shout out along with 30 of or local shoreline favorite shops and designers… all while listening to a couple of live bands and noshing on some of our favorite local food.



Buy your (adult) tickets in advance and save $5. Skip the line and we’ll hold them at the gate for you!

Saturday, January 29 · 11:00am – 7:00pm

Sonalyst Studios, exit 81, one minute off 95

215 Parkway North
Waterford, CT