“A primary attribute of fine jewelry is its unaltered beauty as time passes on, and through the years a finely designed precious gem acts as the catalyst to remind us of grand occasions past and ties and ages together.” ~ Horner Williams
A gem is what longtime Fair Havenite and area jeweler Horner S. Williams was to the many whose lives he touched, whether it be with the creation of a piece of fine jewelry or his refined gentlemanly presence. With the first announcement of his passing on Dec. 31 at 88 through now, messages of condolence and appreciation have flooded social media saying so, in so many words.
That’s what you’d get as a send-off from Melanie Stewart if you visited her and her husband David’s Fair Haven store, Handmade Haven, when it first opened last December. And she meant it. The hugs were and still are Melanie’s sincere expression of appreciation for your patronage of all area artisans and their unique wares.
It was right around the Christmas holiday season that the couple opened their store in the borough’s business district on River Road. Since then, the economy has gotten the better of their budget and means to operate their business out of a stationery local store. However, economics have not hampered the couple’s passionate mission to make the most of local artisans’ talent.
Call it a craft shop gone creative caravan, or “beyond the brick and mortar” as a “mobile force for handmade and local.” The two, since moving from the store, have been scouting area markets, fairs, shows and other per diem venues to set up tent, so to speak, and get area artisan’s work shown and sold.
“We just found that we were spending more money on the actual space than we were making or investing in all of this unique work crafted by these talented local people,” Melanie said. “It’s been fun and it’s working well this way. There’s so much talent in the area and it’s so important to support local businesses and artisans.”
The value of buying local is unsurpassed, she added, as it boosts the local economy while putting food on neighbors’ plates and passing the word about their work. Handmade Haven is, in that respect, an artists’ cooperative of sorts.