A selection from three Santa Fe stores
t’s not difficult to find a gift for your home (and you) at Pandora’s. It’s one of the stores that moved to DeVargas Center with the closing of the Sanbusco Market Center, and it’s doing very well in a larger space, according to manager Kristen Cassidy-Zamora. She said the mall management— that means Katy Fitzgerald, senior project manager for owner Fidelis Realty Partners— has been “phenomenal.”
That assessment was echoed by store owner Barbara Lenihan, who launched Pandora’s 17 years ago. “In the beginning, several people that were moving from Sanbusco said she’s too good to be true, but she did it all,” Lenihan said. “I love Katy.”
The stylish Pandora’s business offers items that run the price gamut from $20 for one of the lovely flat, hand-painted candles from Lithuania or the colorful, detailed ornaments made by local artist Kathleen O’Neill to the chain-stitched coverlets by Missoni Home for over $2,000. There are also hand-painted candles from Africa and soaps by Nature’s EmporiumCherokee Soap Co. in Taos.
“We work with Libeco in Belgium, which is one of the best linen mills in the world,” said Cassidy-Zamora during a recent tour of the shop. “They do linen and wool throws. Gretel Underwood from here in Santa Fe has handwoven pillows and scarves. Gretel does scarves and runners and custom work. If she has the colors that you pick in stock, we can get it in a week.”
I asked about a beautiful bedspread. “That’s mud cloth from Africa that our seamstress pieced to make a coverlet, and the woven wool in the center is made by a women’s cooperative in Uruguay that Barbara’s daughter-in-law brought to us. Weworkwith a shop in Hanoi, Vietnam, that does hand-dyed, hand-quilted silk and with a women’s coop for Indian cotton nightgowns.”
She said Pandora’s provides some of the best bedding in the world, not only from Missoni but Home Treasures, “which is all Italian fabric assembled in Houston to order,” as well as Sferra, Peacock Alley, Coyuchi, Yves Delorme, and Yala. She and Lenihan both raved about the silk velvet— bedding, pillows, rugs, and scarves— by Kevin O’Brien, Philadelphia. “It’s all handdyed and hand-painted,” the store manager said. “He does silkscreen transfer of his work, then does laser and acid to do the devoré [relief] patterns.
“We do really well with our coverlets. We work with a gentleman who brings us items from a family-run company in Kashmir: embroidered, chain-stiched silk and wool. And we work with a family of weavers in Oaxaca, Mexico, on coverlets and pillows and rugs for us, all handwoven and handdyed.”
There are also scented, paraben-free candles, Turkish towels from a women’s coop in Turkey, handwoven pillows fromUzbekistan, and linens from Libeco of Belgium. Visit the store or see pandorassantafe.com.
Gifts in the high-tech realm abound at Constellation Home Electronics, 215 North Guadalupe Street. One of themore affordable is the Ring doorbell, which has a camera to give you a heads-up on who’s there.
Small, efficient surveillance cameras are big, too. “A lot of folks are doing surveillance cameras outdoors and both Ring and Nest make some cool ones,” said showroom manager Jaime Lotero. They start at $150 for a single camera. They’re wireless and motion-sensitive. “You can adjust the sensitivity, and it can either send you a text or an email and you can click and look, which is very nice. The Arlo is an outdoor system. It runs on batteries and they last very well, because they shut off when there’s nothing happening. It’s a simple way to do surveillance. We also do very large systems where peoplewant to be able to record and have it available to view later.”
So what’s hot in music or TV technology right now? “Just the simplicity of Netflix and Hulu and Amazon,” Lotero said. “Streaming shows is the way to go. You have the Amazon stick, the Roku stick, or Apple TV, but most of the new televisions have those apps built in, so it makes it very easy for a client. Some of the new streaming sites like YouTube TVand also Sling do a similar thing, allowing you to cut the cord fromcable andDirecTVand get you the streaming.”
Constellation carries excellent TVs by Sony and Samsung. “A 55-inch used to be considered a large TV and now it really is the 65, and everyone comes in for that
At Pandora’s, pillows by Margo Selby, London
Coverlet of African mud cloth and, at foot, woven wool from a women’s cooperative in Uruguay [Pandora’s]
Delightful felted-wool figures from Kyrgyzstan [Pandora’s]