My Favorite Sale

I want to tell the story of my favorite sale.

It happened today.

I was sitting in the shop, reading a book and enjoying just being there.  It was a beautiful day so I left the door open to get a breeze.  Instead, I got two young children.  The boy was about six or seven and the girl may have been a year or two older.  Like with any adult customer, I greeted them and then let them do their thing.  The little boy immediately sat on the floor next to the shelves and started looking at things.  He kept turning them over and reading the prices to the girl who was also looking at things.  After about four or five minutes of this, I asked if they were looking for anything special.  To which they replied yes.  I asked if it was for their mom and the reply was that it was for “like a mom”.  They were totally sweet and adorable.  I asked how much they had to spend and it was a mere $3.  I do have a few things in the shop for that price, but not much and when I saw the looks on their faces, I knew that those things wouldn’t do.  They wanted something special.  I had seen them look at a few candle holders that were each $6.95, so I asked them whether they thought this person would like one of them.  Of course they replied yes, so I told them to pick one of them and I would give it to them for their $3.  They looked so happy as I wrote up the receipt and then wrapped the white lantern style candle holder in bubble wrap.  The bills came across crumbled in balls and then the change was mostly nickels and dimes, but seeing them look so happy was worth it.  I asked them, while I was wrapping it, whether it was her birthday and they said no.  The little boy then said it was “just because” and it was then that I knew this would be the sale that stays with me forever.


Many Thanks to the Town of Belvidere

My first week in Belvidere has been nicer than I could ever have expected.  I wanted to take a moment to thank the people of Belvidere for their warm welcome.  Everyone who has come into my shop this week has been so friendly, warm, and welcoming.  I have met so many great people already and I am happy to know each and every one of them.

I believe very strongly in small town business and always have.  I grew up in Metuchen, NJ which, although large in comparison to some of the towns here in Warren County, is a classic American small town.  What Metuchen offered to its residents was a strong sense of community and a desire to give back to the town.  I grew up running to Main St when I needed supplies for a school project, a frozen yogurt, slice of pizza or greeting card.  Walking home from school was always an adventure as we stopped at the local novelty store, Variety Village, to explore the fun things that stocked the shelves or the local Krauzers for a soda.  My first job was at a party supply store in town and then many of my subsequent high school jobs were also along that same street.  Now, 14 years later, I am proud to be a part of another small town and to help provide some of the joy that I knew living in my own hometown.

So many people are concerned with the economic status of the country and their own wallets that they no longer are willing to drive 40 minutes to a department store or mall when they are in need of some shopping.  For so long, small towns were put out of business by larger cities and shopping areas.  I remember listening to all the talk when Lowe’s and Home Depot moved into our area and the small hardware store suffered a loss in customers.  Now it seems those super stores are everywhere, but people still need to get to them and today’s economy causes people to pick and choose between going and staying home even if they are in need.  I believe that with the economy the way it is, people will start looking to their small towns again to provide them with the services that were once common place.

It is on that note that I chose to move into Belvidere to set up my business.  Not only is it convenient for me, it is also the something that the people need.  With more shops in town comes more pride in the town and more draw to the town.

So I thank the people of Belvidere who have taken the time to come see me and who have helped me become a part of this wonderful community.  I look forward to being here and getting to know more of my “neighbors”.

Please, feel free to stop by and say hello.

Nanuk's Igloo is Now Open in Belvidere, New Jersey!

Nanuk's Igloo is Now Open in Belvidere, New Jersey!

Welsh Items at Nanuk’s Igloo Custom Jewelry

I believe that I have mentioned before that I offer a Celtic line at Nanuk’s Igloo, but now I will be offering items that are specifically Welsh both online and in the shop.  I am teaming up with my mother, nationally known Welsh Folksinger Jodee James, to incorporate Welsh gifts in addition to the jewelry items.

As of now, Nanuk’s Igloo offers a Welsh Dragon necklace. Quantities are limited at this time, but I hope to be able to offer more necklaces using the Welsh Dragon pendant.  In addition to these necklaces, we will also be selling Welsh T-shirts, Bumper Stickers, Notecards, and other gifts.  Each item is a custom item that will not be found elsewhere.  The notecards are actually made from artwork done by my grandmother Evelyn F. James.  In fact, we will be the only seller of Welsh specific gifts in New Jersey.

Musings as I get ready to open

I decided to sit down and reflect a little on the last 6 weeks or so. They have been a whirlwind of activity and stress, but soon they will all be worth it. Today begins Grand Opening week at the shop. In just three short days, I will be unlocking the shop doors for the first time, the Open Banner will be hung on the hooks under the window and I will be greeting my first customers.

I have always been a firm believer in going for what you want out of life. I have been accused of not thinking things through fully or of being to “romantic” in my actions and thoughts, but sometimes you can’t stop to think or you’ll miss out on an opportunity. That is exactly how I feel about my shop. I have been talking about getting a kiosk or some other small mall location since I started Nanuk’s Igloo in 2006, but there was never a true chance to go for it. There have been some major changes in my life this year (not all of which have been good) and just when things were at their bleakest, I stumbled across the posting on Craig’s List for the shop space. I didn’t hesitate, I placed the call, went to see the space, and signed the lease within a ten day period and now, a mere 40 days later, I am getting ready to open the doors. The time has just flown by.

I cannot wait to begin this next stage in my business life and hope that you will all share in it with me.


After a chance encounter with another extremely craft minded person, and now new friend, I decided to give Flickr a try for some jewelry pictures. I soon fell in love with the site and the way it organizes the pictures. You should see a posting a pictures from Flickr on the right side of this page. I set it to the maximum photos allowed by WordPress’ widget settings, so there will always be jewelry pictures. Many of the items can still be found on my website and now in my store; however, some have already been sold and I can not promise availability on any item now that I am selling in three locations.

In other news, the store is moving along toward the opening. I cannot believe that it is only four days away! I do hope that if you’re in the area, you will stop by to see the shop in person. The pictures do not compare to the real thing.

Nanuk’s Igloo Grand Opening – July 23!

The official date is set!

Nanuk’s Igloo will be opening the door for the first time on Wednesday, July 23.

Grand Opening!

Grand Opening!

All customers who come in that day will receive 25% off their entire purchase as a thank you for helping support my shop.  I hope that if you’re in the area, you will think about taking a little time to swing by and see what Nanuk’s Igloo offers.

If you can’t be there in person, you can still shop online and receive a 10% discount with coupon code SUMMER through August 1.

Remember, Nanuk’s Igloo is located at

321 Mill St
Belvidere, NJ

The doors will open at 10am on July 23.

Nanuk’s Igloo Welcomes Wildefyre Photography

Nanuk’s Igloo is happy to announce that Wildefyre Photography will be joining me at the shop in Belvidere, New Jersey.  Prints will be available for purchase directly from the shop.

More about Wildefyre Photography:

Wildefyre Photography is dedicated to providing fun, friendly and comfortable services for Weddings, Engagements, Maternity and Newborn, as well as many other special occasions. The sky is the limit…I am available to provide tasteful and professional service for any of your photographic needs! Serving Cambridge and the tri-city area, as well as much of Southern Ontario and parts of Northern Ontario as per request. Also available for travel at special request.

Artist Bio:

Cassandra Fogal was born in Kitchener, Ontario. She is the first child of 2 and is a bona fide military brat. Raised all across Ontario and Valcartier, Quebec, moving and travel became a regular part of her life from the very beginning.

Music, Art and Writing are interests that piqued very early on and have always remained a driving force in her life. She took an interest in photography at the age of 9 when her grandfather gave her an old 110 film camera by Kodak. Eventually she moved on to a 35mm film camera and spent many long hours photographing nature and her family. In highschool, she was able to study photography and was finally introduced to an slr in the form of an old Nikkormat. She gained experience in the darkroom and her love affair with photography was oficially solidified.

Today, Cassandra is married and has a beautiful 13 month old daughter. Mainly working independently from home, she offers a very caring and comfortabe environment for her clients. Branching out into fine art photography is a goal and lifetime dream. She continues to evolve as a photographer and works mainly with digital images, though she still has a fondness for working with film.