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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Saving the Earth While Celebrating the Holidays

Nov 01, 2014 02:02PM
With all the attention paid to recycling and renewal, saving the earth while celebrating the holidays makes a whole lot of sense. At Inside/Out, in High Bridge, NJ, recycling is as much a tradition as any other aspect of the holiday season. Owner Christina Lynn Whited has been in the forefront of the recycling movement since she started CoCo:Chenille in that tiny town in 1991.

Using recycled chenille bedspreads as her design base, she surged into national prominence in the Shabby Chic décor trend of the mid 1990’s, when Country Living Magazine consistently featured her products. With a long history of design success in her pocket, as well as a national reputation as a spiritual consultant, Whited opened Inside/Out, a mystical, whimsical, green gift shop, last February. “It’s all about living from the heart – from the inside out,” she explains. “The shop is a mix of vintage, handmade, and recycled elements. I focus a lot on natural elements, such as little birds, animal images and other aspects of nature that move indoors easily, as well as crystals and angels that are at home anywhere. The mystical element also comes into play outdoors with the concrete statuary of angels, fairies, wizards, and unicorns that I offer.”

Whited believes that the love infused into a well-worn item radiates from it and so brings more delight to the current user. “Just imagine all the tales told over a delicate china cup from sixty years ago. The stories it could tell! With teapots, serving platters and some lovely, warm, silver-plated pieces, there’s a lot of potential for new memories to be made with these vintage pieces as they bring a sense of history and tradition to your table.”

In addition to the housewares that she loves to rescue, Whited has also added a section of vintage chenille bathrobes from the late 1940’s as well as vintage lingerie. She plans to revive the one-of-a-kind robes for which she was well known at CoCo:Chenille. Although the supply of vintage chenille has diminished in recent years, Whited believes she has enough to meet the current demand. “I have a lot of chenille in storage and can always mix and match patterns to make a beautiful bathrobe. I have enough for many years’ worth of special cuddly robes,” she says.

WEB-Tube_Glove_Icon_web-151x199Whited, who had a hat business in Manhattan before moving to New Jersey, also recycles sweaters into one-of-a-kind winter hats, scarves, and fingerless gloves. “I love to layer the colors, textures, and patterns in fun ways. Everything at Inside/Out is about joy. I tell people that if one thing doesn’t bring a smile to your face, move on. There is bound to be something here that they find delightful, that brings a greater sense of joy into their lives.”

In addition to the CoCo: Chenille classic washcloths and guest towels, Whited stocks handmade soaps as well as bath salts in vintage decanters. “With so many people working to simplify their lives, there is a demand for items that can be used and replenished as needed. The handmade soaps are wonderful as a hostess gift when coupled with a guest towel, or for grandparents with an elegant washcloth. Our customers tend to come back again and again for just these items,” Whited remarks.

If you are in the market for something truly unique, made from recycled or repurposed materials, Inside/Out is the place for you. With its mystical, whimsical, and green approach to the holidays it may provide just the right gift to help you to contribute to saving the planet while celebrating the holidays with those you love.

Location: 76 Main Street in High Bridge. Open Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 908-638-9066. InsideOutOnMain.com.

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