The Local Lens – Hygge Home, Owego NY

This week’s featured small business is an absolutely adorable find nestled in the Historic District of Owego, NY. Hygge Home is not only a downtown shop, it’s a way of living for owner, business woman and mother, Mandy Neira.

While reading a book about familial relationships worldwide, she stumbled upon the Danish concept, Hygge pronounced “hyoo·guh,” meaning Cozy. Completely inspired by the concept, she visited the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Denmark and fell in love with the lifestyle and the people embracing it.

Mandy tested the concept in a small kiosk, a natural fit for the quaint town of Owego, NY and within a year, moved into a bigger space with much more inventory at 185 Front Street. Before getting one foot in the store that’s enticing you to enter with the scent of aromatherapy, you’re reminded of the concept of Cozy stamped on the concrete doorstep. It’s as if little Gnomes are wafting the scent beneath your nose and fairies are tugging your clothing to enter.

Once inside, there’s an instant feeling of calm wrapped up in an incredible visual of unique de’cor items designed to create a cozy sanctuary within your home.

Every corner is deliberately arranged with concept of creating a cozy, loving, nurturing environment for you, your family – even your pets! Creating a feeling of complete calm; scented candles, essential oils and Palo Santo are intricately displayed in every corner while blankets, pillows, journals and mugs adorn the furniture begging you to “sit a while.”

With so much technology and overwhelming social media in our lives, Mandy believes “we need to disconnect and focus on simplicity and connection with those we Love.”

Another of Mandy’s passionate thoughts is “to create a special place where people can enjoy the moment with peace, relaxation and laughter – a place to host friends, read, journal and find stillness for their well being.” She leaves nothing out when stocking the store with Hygge Home products – there’s even a section designated for entertaining family and friends.

If you haven’t ventured into this shop yet, it’s a must see! Your husband might not be thrilled, but you will definitely leave with an entirely new outlook on decorating your Home. Open Wednesday through Saturday 11- 5pm and Sunday 11- 3pm, Mandy will be there with a warm smile on her face to greet you!

Meet Jeff Turney of Lone Ranger Antiques!

So I already featured some of the artisans I met at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, but a few of them had such interesting stories that I needed MORE space for them! So meet Jeff Turney of Lone Ranger Antiques in Florida!

Jeff specializes in antique Swedish furniture. Here are some of his wares on display at the Country Living Fair:

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So, how does one get started in antique Swedish furniture? Jeff started visiting Sweden in 1986, when he was 21 and especially interested in Swedish girls um, culture. While waiting in line for ice cream at Kings Garden in Stockholm, he got chatting with an American guy and a Swedish woman. They bought him some ice cream – his Swedish language skills being non-existent – and they sat down to start chatting.

The American guy offered Jeff a job so that he could continue living in Sweden. The couple then invited Jeff to spend the weekend with them at their country farm house. Right across the road was an Estate Auction sign. All that Jeff bought was a box of old wooden tools for $2, but that was all it took – he was totally hooked. See Jeff’s own photos for proof:

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Today, he owns his OWN Swedish country house, and spends summers in-country buying up items from estate auctions like an unstoppable force.

He has spent nearly three decades making the trip to Sweden each year, and frequently hears from customers that “there must be nothing left in Sweden.” He actually finds that with the popularity of IKEA and other modern, cheap options, there’s not a whole lot of demand for the type of antiques and collectibles he finds, and he never has trouble scooping them up and bringing them home.

In fact, the items he’s after are frequently called “Mors Mors Skit” by the Swedish. “Mors Mors” is “grandmother” and “Skit” is, well, just one letter different than its English translation. I can say that his wares are WAY better than that term implies 🙂

Jeff does four shows each year –  the Brimfield Antique show in Massachusetts (summer and fall) and the Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas (next show starting September 28th, 2015).

Jeff is the one on the right, FYI.

Jeff is the one on the right, FYI.