Merchant Wednesday: Ginger Blossom

As we have reinvested in home furnishings and decorations to style our Church Sweet Home, we’ve run across a number of amazing artists and vendors. Sometimes the vendor is a big-box-type store but more often it’s an online retailer or a local vendor. On some Wednesdays here on Church Sweet Home, I will share our latest find and reveal who provided it to help other interested home designers.

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We drove by the inconspicuous property at least a dozen times before we stopped, lured in with a sandwich board sign that promoted a deal on wool sweaters.

Our curiosity was amply rewarded when we discovered all the interesting imported goods at Ginger Blossom, a vendor for ethnic and traditional crafts, rugs, furniture, sweaters, antiques and more from all over the world, displayed and sold at a farm just outside of Richmond, Illinois.

We liked the furniture offerings so much, we invested in three pieces.

china hutch

Our china cabinet is a huge piece (it came in two parts), and it displays all my china.

dining room table

The dining room table is made of teak. My father teased that it could use a good sanding, but we love the rustic look of it.

ginger blossom dresser

And the dresser in our master bedroom is a charismatic piece that adds color and interest to the room while holding sweaters inside and our TV on top.

Most of Ginger Blossom’s goods were imported from Asia, so the farm has a wide selection of stone Buddas and Hindi gods, but it also offered unique jewelry, colorful dishware, one-of-a-kind furniture, hand-woven rugs and cotton bedding. According to the website, “The core inventory features primarily home furnishings and accent pieces, and ethnic and tribal collectibles, including rustic pine furniture, furniture made from architectural salvage, and antique Swati and Tibetan trunks.” There is an entire room of fantastic rugs.

For Christmas, I gave several members of my family hand-knitted gloves I found at Ginger Blossom,  and in the summertime, it’s a great place to find pots and garden decor, too.

Ginger Blossom is absolutely worth the stop if you’re visiting the area. They’re open daily and you can find it at 3016 Route 173, Richmond, Illinois.

By the way, our china cabinet comes with a story.

My son-in-law, who has lived in the area all his life and has heard all the stories, jokes that our china cabinet is “the murder hutch.”

A couple was murdered by a motorcycle gang in 1993 at the property that is now Ginger Blossom, where we found our beautiful cabinet. The couple’s son was wrongly convicted of the crime and sentenced to die by lethal injection until a law professor and Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions took up the case. He was released and wrote a book about it, which is for sale in the gift shop of Ginger Blossom. Look for In Spite of the System: A Personal Story of Wrongful Conviction & Exoneration by Gary Gauger.

New beginnings are often disguised as untidy endings

Our story so far: We were in the midst of Phase Three of construction: Drywall, Paint & Flooring at the old Methodist church we were renovating into our dream home.

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Chapter 32

I used to believe no shower felt better than the one you took after a thirty-hour trans-Pacific plane flight.

Chapter 32At one point in my marketing career, I took such flights regularly. I began the trip, usually before dawn, wrangling a huge suitcase and heavy computer bag. I’d drive or take a shuttle to the airport. Stand in lines, handle dirty money (all cash is dirty, even someone who’s not a Virgo knows), touch doorknobs and hand rails already touched by the thousands of other members of unwashed humanity, dine off of filthy seatback trays, drool on myself as I tried to sleep on the plane, change planes at least twice, usually four times (because there were no direct flights from St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States of America to Mount Ku-ring-gai, New South Wales, Australia), wait in the sunshine for another shuttle or cab to my hotel, stand in line to check in at the hotel and finally arrive at my destination a day and half after I began. If I could summon the energy, the first thing I did was take a shower. Oh that shower was sweet, washing off hours of exhausting traveling and disgusting germs, and I exited the shower a new woman.

I used to believe that shower was the best shower ever.

Until I sanded hardwood floors.

No shower feels as good as the one a rehabber takes after sanding 126-year-old wood floors for a few hours on the second story of an old church in 90-degree temps.

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Tomorrow: Layers of gunk. Check it out here.