dandelion wishes is a thoughtfully curated collection of high quality, made in America handcrafted goods located in Hopewell, New Jersey. The shop features the works of local artists as well as work from around the country.
Art is around us every day. The earrings I wear, the scarf around my neck, the mug I drink my coffee from – these are all small yet beautiful pieces of art in my life every day, and I want to make this art more accessible to my community. At dandelion wishes, you can pick up a small, affordable hostess or teacher gift – or find something a bit more special to commemorate a more significant occasion like a graduation or wedding. And there are many ways to treat yourself!
our herstory by owner and curator, Heidi Wilenius
When I was 7, my mom opened a small store, the Creator’s Hands, a few blocks from our house in Rochester, NY. We lived in the 19th Ward, a tightly knit, inner city community not far from downtown. The Creator’s Hands was “A Gallery of Art and Craft” that celebrated the artists represented as well as our spiritual creator, showcasing work from both Christian and Judaic faiths, as well as many secular works.
Mom first opened her doors in November of 1979 with 25 local consignors in 500 SF of space. Over the course of the next 32 years, her store moved and expanded multiple times, and over that time has featured the work over hundreds of American artists. In 2011, she retired and sold the business, which continues today under new ownership and celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year.
owner, heidi wilenius with her mom
I started working for my mom at age 11, first just vacuuming and dusting, then wrapping gifts, and finally selling. By age 16, I went to my first wholesale buying show. As the daughter of a shop owner, I am acutely aware of how much work is involved, and have always said (up until about 6 months ago) that I would never own a shop - in fact, when it was suggested that I open a similar shop in New Jersey my answer was always “never!”
When the owner of one of my favorite local shops, ebb, announced that she was retiring, my interest was instantly piqued. And now, here I am.
Never say never.
Together with my mom, have traveled to craft shows in Seattle, New York and Philadelphia - and even much closer to home at Handmade Hopewell and the Hopewell Harvest Fair - finding beautiful and unique work created by artists both local and from around the country.
We believe in the importance of presenting a wide range of artists and creators. At dandelion wishes, you will find well-established artists who have been making a living at their craft for decades, many of whom have a team of artists working with them — as well as emerging artists who may create their work in their spare time and work out of their basements, garages, and dining rooms!
Together, we seek to make everyday art accessible to the community and the artists whose work encourages and celebrates a more sustainable way of living.
We have found so many treasures we are excited to share with you — colorful new skirts made from old t-shirts, greeting cards made from old junk mail, and one-of-a-kind furniture made from industrial and woodland salvage materials. Every item in the shop has an artist and a story behind it. Stop in soon to see them all for yourself!
Over the next year, we hope to tell these stories in our shop and on social media for a larger audience. Please follow us on instagram and facebook to learn about upcoming meet the artist evenings and other special events.