Dec 6 2012

Happy Birthday to Us!

mariannerusso

As I settled in to sleep last night after a busy day, it suddenly struck me that the day which had been in my thoughts becuse  it was coming up soon and we should be sure to mark it in some way…was here! December 5th marks the 9 year anniversary of the opening of Nellie’s Tea & Gifts. Nine years ago, after returning from a long weekend, intensive “Tea School” in  Connecticut held in early November, I contacted the two young women who owned Pot de Fleur in Biddeford and asked if they were still interested in having me join them in their shop. Tea School was organized and run by  Pearl Dexter of TEA, A Magazine and John Harney, founder of Harney & Sons Fine Teas. From these two icons of the modern day Specialty Tea industry, my classmates and I learned the basics of Specialty Tea as well as starting and operating a tea related business. I came home so enthused that I quickly pursued my budding plan of joining in an already established shop, since I knew I wouldn’t be leaving my day job just yet, by contacting Kelly Decker and Erin Donovan, two of the most creative and talented young women I’ve ever met. I became the weekend shop keeper in exchange for a very low rent and the chance to start my tea dream with baby steps. Our location at 265 Maine Street in Biddeford was in a  architecturally gorgeous space with lots of windows and light, but very little heat or other amenities. We didn’t care.

My original space was a corner of one room in the larger shop in which I displayed my wares on a counter I brought in, some built-in shelves, and a lovely window space on the rounded corner of the building. Over time I gradually added more space and more hours, other co-tenants came and went, and I became more knowledgeable and confident about my abilities to be a business owner. Please enjoy the photos shared below as Nellie’s has grown and evolved over the last nine years. It could not have happened without you, and we are so grateful for your support and business. 

 

Enjoy these pictures of my window at 265 Main St, the back room of our shop, ready for a Red Hatters group, and some of our artists during a Biddeford Art Walk. More to come.

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