Once you learn to dig just below the surface of gorgeous beaches and homemade ice cream shops, you find that Cape Cod is filled to the brim with talented artists and makers. Some use the native environment to inspire their work, others choose a different path and bring new flavor to the ever-growing community. Whatever the style or medium, we at Dream Of The Woods feel so grateful to be living and making in such a creative community, and this Friday we’d like to share one of our favorites.
Adorn in Orleans, MA was started by Molly Avellar and her mother Jenny Joy Avellar. Opened in May of 2015, the mother-daughter team have worked hard to boldly and beautifully step outside the lines of the traditional Cape Cod tourist stop. We had the chance to chat with Molly, co-owner and in-house metalsmith, about the experience of Adorn thus far and we were quickly reminded of why we love the shop so much.
Before we jump into talking about Adorn – you’ve had your own jewelry line even before you opened. What started the love for that, and where did you primarily sell your work?
My love for the craft began my sophomore year in high school when I signed up for a metals class. I was immediately hooked! I spent as much time in the metals classroom as I could. After high school I hopped around a few different art schools but never quite found the right fit, however I always kept making jewelry in my home studio. In 2012, after I had been working a desk job, I realized I wanted to seriously pursue my passion for jewelry and I headed out to San Francisco to attend The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts which offers intensive metalsmithing courses. It was there that I honed in my skills, and it gave me the push to launch my jewelry line Molly Avellar Jewelry when I returned to Cape Cod that Summer. At that time I began attending as many craft shows as I could, as well as selling online and in a couple local Cape shops. I really loved attending craft shows because I was able to interact with the customers who were buying my jewelry.
From what I’ve read, you come from a long line of artists and artisans. Were they all interested in the same mediums that you are, or have you all found your own unique path?
I grew up surrounded by Art. Everyone on my mother’s side of the family is so creative, but all in a different way. My great grandfather Vernon B. Smith was a well known Cape Cod Artist for his relief wood carvings, but he was also an extremely gifted painter. My uncle, Dan Joy, is also an insanely talented painter – if you’ve seen the incredible mural behind CVS in Orleans, next to the sparrow, that was him! He also does on set painting for movies and TV which is such an interesting business to hear about. My mother has dabbled in a little bit of everything. She loves interior design and has been decorative painting forever. The amazing colors in our shop are all her vision. Before I ever picked up a hammer and torch she was metalsmithing and making her own silver jewelry, as well as making dichroic glass jewelry. We have some really awesome pieces in the shop by her now! With all the added space in our shop we are now able to bring in larger furniture pieces that she refinishes. Being surrounded by creative energy has definitely shaped my direction in life, and I am so grateful for that!
The location of the shop makes complete sense, being where you and your mother, Jenny, both grew up. But, what was the inspiration for you two to open the shop. And, what made you decide to open it together?
In the fall of 2014, both my Mother and I were in the prefect position to do something new. I had just moved back to the Cape from living away for a bit and she was ready to quiet down on her decorative painting business. Over the years we had always thrown around the idea of opening a shop together so it had always been in the back of our minds, and that fall we started revisiting the idea. A shop would give us both the creative outlet we needed. One day, out of curiosity, we checked out the old deli building in east Orleans and it was really the perfect space for us. Once we had the space in mind, we did some planning – months of planning that is, as to what direction we wanted to take our space – and Adorn was born.
You have been open for a little while now, and you recently expanded – which is awesome! How has the community responded to Adorn? Are you both happy with the decision you made to open up shop in Orleans?
In the last year open we have had such a positive response from the local community as well as visitors to the area. People are so excited about what we have brought to Orleans, they love that almost everything we carry in the shop is by independent designers and makers, both local on Cape Cod and throughout the U.S. We really strive to find unique and different products that you don’t find all over the place here on the Cape, and it makes us stand out. Plus, both my mother and I are passionate about everything we sell in the shop and that adds so much value to what we are doing. We actually both asked ourselves the same question – if after a year we are happy with the decision to open the store – and both of us agreed that even though owning the shop is extremely hard work and long hours we wouldn’t have it any other way. It is so rewarding in the end and we are both so excited to see how it will grow over the coming years.
What is your favorite, but most unexpected aspect of having the shop in town?
I love that I am able to connect with so many new customers, both locals and visitors. Without having the store I don’t think my personal jewelry business would be growing the way it is. I have some really awesome customers who met me by just walking in our door at Adorn, and now I make them custom jewelry all the time, its really cool!
I know you just expanded, so it might not be too fitting of a questions – but any future plans being discussed? Possibly long term goals that you don’t mind sharing?
Well, this summer we are going to bring on our first employee! I wish my mother and I could both be at the store all the time, but we would both probably go crazy, so hiring an employee is a big deal for us. And in the next year we would love to find a full time employee who can run the front of the shop while I focus on jewelry and my mother focuses on her projects (which include furniture refinishing, jewelry, art and more…she is so talented). I did actually just hire someone a month or so ago to help with my jewelry production a couple of days a week, and it has been awesome. I hope to be able to bring her on for more hours in the fall and work on a new production line of jewelry.
These were all great, thank you! One last question – I’ve heard Adorn comes complete with a pretty adorable shop girl. Can you tell us about Nala?
Shop girl Nala is the craziest, funniest, weirdest and smartest pup I know. She actually just turned 3! I rescued her in fall of 2013 from a shelter down in Tennessee. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I can’t take enough pictures of her. We go on adventures in the morning then head to the shop for the day. She is definitely the best sidekick ever!
Dream Of The Woods Productions is run by Michael F. DuBois and Larissa Farrell, who consider themselves writers, filmmakers, and explorers of the heart. They strive to create work of authenticity and love, and spend their time making film and print works in a tiny studio just down the street from the ocean on Cape Cod, MA.
Follow them on Instagram , Facebook, or join their monthly newsletter!