Design New England

Quilling, gourmet salt, and maritime motifs at the Boston Gift Show


We were so fascinated with the exotic quilling techniques used by Maine artist Lauren Fensterstock that we featured her work in our March/April issue (Black Magic). So no wonder we were stopped in our tracks at the recent Boston Gift Show at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center by delicate quilling found on these sweet greeting cards. Quilling Card, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, was founded by Huong Nguyen Wolf, who moved from Vietnam to her husband’s native Bay State, but each card’s curled paper decoration is crafted by Wolf’s own artistic family in Vietnam. (A video on her website shows how they work!)



Mixing style and foodie appeal is Sabrosa Salt Company, founded by Melissa Quakenbush and her sister, Amanda. The pair enjoyed mixing salt and spices as a hobby, giving jars of their seasoned creations as gifts for family and friends before they created Sabrosa in 2011. The company now offers seven flavors: Everything Salt, Italian Seasoning Salt, Barbecue Salt, Fired Up! Salt, Creole Pepper Salt, Lemon Dill Salt, and Cumin-Cinnamon Salt. They use artisan sel gris, or “grey salt,” from France, mixing it with spices right when a shipment comes into port and packaging them with stackable, plastic, wide-mouth jars in Easton, Pennsylvania.


Brightly colored coastal iconography took us, at least in our mind’s eye, from the dreary days of March to the summer sunshine of an ocean beach. Colorful, playful images of anchors, seashells, lobsters, mermaids, and sailboats from Tidal Effects adorns everything from baby onesies to toddler clothing to accessories such as aprons and tote bags. Founder Nancy Sawyer of Falmouth, Massachusetts, is generating quite a following at the craft and trade shows where she markets her company’s wares, which are printed in nearby Wareham, Massachusetts. As her own children grow, so will her line, which will gradually include larger sizes.


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