Our World's Window continuing year-long thirtieth anniversary has celebrated that "The Joy is in The Journey." Of course there are and have been many, many kinds of journeys in the life of our store experience. Not all journeys come full circle, but these three do.
A Coat: Generosity of Timeless Beauty
In the 30 years of World’s Window, we have discovered and sold amazing folk art and textiles. Some are so one-of-a-kind that we only see them once; some a style that we see for several years; some so timeless that versions of them return now and again.
Way back in our years in Westport, we carried incredible, hand-stitched coats fashioned from kilim rugs from Morocco. Lined and embellished with hand-made braid, the coats were the warmest ever — well, you were literally wrapping up in a rug! The deep reds and oranges interspersed with black and more muted purples and greens made each coat a work of art.
We carried those coats for about three years. (Owner Jan Buerge has one in her closet that needs major repairs because she wore it for years.) Then we couldn’t get them anymore. It was too hard for our friend to supervise the hand-sewing of these gems. Out of sight, forgotten…
…Until this past spring when a customer walked in with her kilim coat over her arm and asked that we find a way to incorporate it into one of our Rose Brooks fundraisers. She wanted to pass it on to someone else to love and wear — and raise some needed funds for Rose Brooks.
A work of art. Timeless beauty. On a journey and now ready for a new journey. What is this journey worth to you?
A Necklace: Making It Right
It’s not very big. It’s not elaborate or ostentatious or sparkly. From a long jewelry tradition in India of hand-forming silver choker necklaces with tiny dangles and a clasp that somewhat resembles a heart. It was displayed in our jewelry case along with other Indian silver pieces that really were more of a presence — larger, more detailed, more dangles. It was sweet and perfect to dress up or wear casually … and it disappeared. . .
. . .About 20 years ago. We knew it was taken. We were frustrated, angry and sad. But, in time, it was forgotten.
Then one day two years ago, a small padded envelope arrived with our mail. From the hand-writing, I knew instinctively who it was from and what was in the envelope. Along with the long-missing necklace was this note: “I stole this from your store nearly 17 years ago. I was a young, stupid girl. I never wore it, just packed it away. I am very, very sorry.”
A necklace returned, the journey now to be extended as it finds a new home and raises money for Rose Brooks. What is this journey worth to you?
A Mask: It Was Meant To Be
A really wonderful mask. Unusual in the man bending over the face of the mask. Leaning down. Leaning in. Perhaps telling a story?
Yes, of course, the mask came on its own journey years ago. From a mask-carver or a family in Mali, West Africa that owned and perhaps danced this mask. But the World’s Window story has to do with who has most recently treasured this mask — and her serendipitous connection to owner Jan Buerge.
Within the first year of World’s Window, soon after the Buerges moved the store from its tiny outside market stall to inside the Trolley Station in Westport, a phone call and chance meeting profoundly changed their lives and the trajectory of the store.
A casual phone conversation with Jan’s mother included the mention that a second cousin, whom Jan had not seen since high school, was now living in Kansas City Another call led to an even more surprising discovery: Cousin Stephanie had just been in World’s Window the day before checking it out as she was interested in opening a store herself - a store that would be similar to one she had just managed in southern California!
Stephanie soon became teacher, confidant, creative thinker and cheerleader for Jan and for World’s Window. She introduced Jan to her vendor friends. She went along on buying trips. She told Jan “you can” when Jan wasn’t sure herself. She still does.
A renewed friendship that became a sisterhood of 30 years. Their children grew up together. Their families vacationed together. They still do. The mask? Chosen by Stephanie on one of their buying trips. A mask that was a cherished treasure and is now a gift to raise money for Rose Brooks. What is this journey worth to you?
Three different items. . .Three different stories. . .Three different journeys. All now are ready to head out on new journeys in new lives - perhaps with you. Starting this Thursday, November 13, and continuing through Thanksgiving weekend, you can place silent auction bids on these three items. All the money raised will go directly to Rose Brooks Center to support women who are starting on new journeys of their own. What is a journey worth?