AYER -- West Main Street near the gates to Devens is blooming into a shopping destination for antiques, home goods, furniture, silk and dried florals and gifts.
Mayberries, at 210 West Main St. in the Devens Shopping Plaza, is an expertly arranged shop featuring items for the home, as well as for men, women and children.
Owner Patrice Giles has created a haven that includes floral arrangements reflecting the fall and upcoming winter holidays, nature-inspired goodies and a selection of antique smalls and furnishings circa 1840-1920.
Everything is affordably priced, ready for the home and has been chosen and arranged with Giles' infallible artist's eye.
Right in time for the season, there's a small hand-whittled trinket box, circa 1920 Maine. Its cover is a reindeer head and the whole box has been carved to resemble a pinecone texture. It's signed by its maker in pencil and it's sure to fill the stocking of a lucky folk art collector.
Also on the shelvesa are art, jewelry, birdhouses made of birch, maple and other woods, all kinds of gifts for the home and even handcrafted children's sweaters with felt appliqués. Holiday merchandise is arriving daily, as are old-fashioned candy and chocolates.
Giles, who named name the shop after her mother May, attended school for floral design and specializes in custom arrangements and wreaths.
"I love working with customers on arrangements or wreaths that fit their color schemes or
Holidays are Giles' favorite time of the year; she's hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 11, where she'll serve refreshments and holiday goodies and looks forward to meeting many new people.
Mayberries, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or later, Wednesday through Sunday. Call 978-407-5206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Across the street is Etc., a labor of love for owner Heidi Hills, who has worked full-time for a decade as an administrative assistant at the Seven Hills Center for autistic children in Devens.
Her huge building has had many previous lives. It has been a restaurant (Bunny Piper's), a company headquarters, a storage facility and "empty for a long time," says Hills, who was born in Fitchburg and still lives there.
"I've always wanted to do this. I had a broker looking for me and one day I was picking up lunch at Bill's and I saw this building's 'For Rent' sign. I called the number, got a tour, made a nice deal with the landlord and voila! Here I am!"
Etc. has jewelry, furnishings, all kinds of dishes, lamps and goods from 14 vendors who have booths inside the shop. There's even a wall of 100-year-old tools and a pristine photographer's chair in solid mahogany circa 1890s, complete with its crimson velvet seat and semi-circle shape.
"I have something for everyone here and that has been the plan all along. We buy estates and make house calls, we buy one piece of furniture and people come to us with all kinds of stuff to sell and I pretty much buy it all," Hills said.
"We have antiques and cool 1950s retro stuff, newer things, art, and I price everything to move fast. Last week, we received two Victorian pieces of furniture and that same day they were sold to a man looking for something nice for his wife."
Etc., 211 West Main St., Ayer, 978-391-4098, email@example.com. Open noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.