|76 Main Street, High Bridge, NJ 08829 telephone 908-638-9066
We look forward to welcoming from you!
All Things GREEN
I founded CoCo:Chenille in 1991 based on the reuse of existing materials.
I was part of the advance guard of the recycling movement. As a result of
that commitment, there are many aspects of Inside/Out that are green,
well beyond all the vintage products that I seek out for your delight.
Did you realize that all of our tags are recycled? When you find a price
tag on an item you will notice that it may be a different color from the other
tags nearby. That is because I make each tag by hand from recycled
posters and other items. I hand punch each tag and then punch a hole in
the end. I use recycled raffia to tie the tags onto the merchandise as
well. Those old hula skirts go a long way! Even the label that I add is
recycled from a left over print job.
When your purchase is packaged at the checkout counter, also made
from recycled wood, hardware and tin can covers, you are asked to
choose a bag from our supply hanging on the wall. If you purchase is
small to medium sized you are bound to find a bag that will delight you. I
stitch them from clean recycled textiles in delightfully funky prints. I am
able to find used fabrics with pumpkins for Halloween, ornaments for
Christmas, hearts for Valentine's Day, and more, to cut up and make into
simple bags with the seams inside out. Right now as I look at the selection
I have one print with strawberries, another with stars, and a third with
peace symbols, as well as one with affirmations.
I do ask that if you have no use for the bag when you get your treasures
home, that you bring it back to keep it flowing in the green system. If you
want to fill it up again, great! If we aren't open when you pass by, pop it
into the Guardian Angel's Box on the front porch or just tuck it in the
door. (Sometimes she is hard to reach - sorry, there are just too many
treats taking up space on the porch.) She is made from all sorts of
recycled parts, including the bread box and the rain boots!
And I make some larger bags from polypropylene chicken feed bags.
They are available with purchases over $75. Thanks to a friend with
chickens, I have a pretty good supply.
Did you know we can also make Gift Baskets? I have quite a supply of
gently used baskets just waiting to be filled. I shred glossy newspaper
inserts and catalogs that I receive to use as filler. It makes a very color
bed for whatever products you wish to add for any special occasion gift.
Ask about this service next time you need a special presentation.
Ninety-nine percent of our display pieces are recycled. From the
antique jelly cabinet that holds lots of tea cups and treasures, to the
1940's closet for the vintage lingerie and chenille bathrobes, to the two
antique dining room tables that make up our central island, all the
furniture at Inside/Out is recycled. Some things I have made from scratch,
like the check-out counter. The top was a hand-painted platform from
my CoCo:Chenille shop in Lambertville. The rest of the structure is made
from display shelves I had in the High Bridge shop. The curvy little is
made from the tops of cans of beets, beans, tuna and tomatoes. It took
me a year to collect them all! The rope trim on the edge is from the
nearby Habitat for Humanity store.
And if you read the About Us page you already know this, but the carpet
is also green - in shades of blue. I bought thirds (way beyond
"seconds"), from a carpet company and had a lot of fun putting them all
together in a meaningful way. I think of it as continuing the work of
generations of women in my family who made patchwork quilts. My
mother still makes them for all the family members. It is her joy now that
she has time to devote to it.
The parts of my house that you don't see contain projects "in the process"
of being transformed into renewed merchandise. I spend an awful lot of
time hunting and gathering special pieces, some of which need attention
to make them the joyous treasures you find on our shelves. This year I
found lots of plain orange plastic pumpkins for Halloween that then
received several coats of paint, some black stripes and a sealer before
they were ready for presentation.
I have sewn the handmade washcloths I offer for twenty years. They
are made from recycled George Washington style bedspreads, and
the nubby texture is just right for a gentle scrub. The bed jackets and
bathrobes are similarly made from recycled chenille bedspreads and
antique linens. My winter hats, scarves, and fingerless gloves are
made from recycled sweaters and afghans. The tote bags are designed
from curtains, belts, blankets, and knitwear. I find the challenge of
designing within the constraints of recycled fabric to be really appealing
I have lighted the outside of the shop with loads of twinkle lights, in white,
in blue, and multi-color strands. They decorate our birdhouse number
pole, the trellis, the sign, and the gaily colored ones are strung all along
the fence. What makes this eco-friendly and green is that the lights are all
solar! On dark days they don't last so long, and if the little collectors are
covered with snow, they really don't shine at all, but I love the renewable
energy of them all. Be sure to take a close look if you pass by after the
sun has set.
I love GREEN! And I hope you do too. Stop in and see all we have to offer.