Against the backdrop buzz of Route 9 traffic, there's this serene oasis. No, not oasis. George, co-owner of Broadway's newest shop, Threads of Life, calls the tall vibrant vases of living greens and fish "self-contained ecological environments," but he's still searching for the right word.
This new shop at the beginning of North Broadway seems to require its own vocabulary, with its unique, and crammed, collection of gifts and home decor treasures, many including live plants and tropical fish in hand-blown glass vases. There are also handmade tapestries, pillows, framed art, furniture, designed and often made by co-owner Una Killen.
The shop plans to expand its vision into teaching design workshops, having poetry reading nights, and reinventing the landscape in and out of local homes.
So buy local and go say hello to...
Una Killen, co-owner with partner George, of Threads of Life
1. What's in your backgrounds that lead you to this?
"My parents had their own business for twenty-five years. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was all talk nonstop about the family business. For twenty years, I've been doing interior, visual, event design. I've designed many other people's stores and this is the first time I'm doing my own. George is the horticulturist. He's really into plants and nature. He grew up with fish tanks. Add that to my design background we came up with this concept."
2. How would you define this concept?
"We're very much bringing the outdoors in. I'm also very botanical in my designs, but very futuristic too in some ways. I can go from extremely fabulous Victorian styling down to a modern simplistic look. It's really about the story and theme of the place, and working with the client's desires. My website unakillen.com shows what a broad background of different styles I can do."
3. What attracted you to Tarrytown?
"My grandparents are from here. My grandfather was a cabinet maker and did restoration for historic sites like , and my grandmother had a dress-making shop in Irvington. I went back and forth from Ireland quite a bit. I was born in Hastings, then went to Ireland, and then went back and forth. My summertime childhood memories are of coming back to here."
4. And do you live here now?
"Yes, we live here in a house with an amazing garden, thanks to George. George has a koi pond in the garden. Our home is a like a science lab, we're constantly creating."
5. What do you call these fish creations?
George: "Isn't it so peaceful? They are self-contained ecological environments, always changing. The pleasure it gives you. I grew up in the Bronx and I remember on early Saturday mornings how my grandmother would be pruning her rose bushes, the hydrangeas, and she would be humming. I would be watching her from the window and thinking, my grandmother is so happy, so peaceful. I never forgot that. I went to the real world and worked there for a while but I came back to the natural world."
Threads of Life, 2 North Broadway, Wednesdays - Sundays, 10 to 7 (closed from lunch from noon to 1 p.m.) 914-909-6030 or 914-261-7478.