Known to many as “Jenni”, Jennifer Field and her partner (in crime, life, and business) Jennifer Sunderland are Newport’s Boss Ladies of the week.
Owning and operating their very own business on North Main Street in Tiverton, J and J surely have been innovative over the years. Their modest one room shop, Curated, is warm and inviting. Every possible corner, cranny, and nook of the shop is filled with artisan pieces – many of which are rustic and almost all of which are handmade. If you’re looking for: ornaments, pin type photography, cards, letters, cuff links, mirror compacts, onesies, jewelry, bags, aprons, or anything else that has the potential to be adorable and beautifully unique in every way, look no further.
Not to mention, the majority of the designers that Curated sells are … wait for it … women.
Both Jennifer’s are not only independent female business owners, but are Wives, Mothers, and Bartenders. Jenni tends bar at The Landing while Jennifer tends bar at the Hibernian Society.
“Even when Jen and I opened the shop, we both kept our bartending. We wear lots of hats, we weren’t going to let go of anything, we were just going to do it all, ” Jenni told me.
On the record, Jenni tells me that you can get a “great meal” at the Hibernian on Thursdays, just saying.
Q:How long has Curated been open?
A:“We had our one year anniversary this past May.”
Q:Did you celebrate?
A:“We served up the bubbly and had a basket giveaway, you know, everything short of a marching band.”
Q:Have you always sewed? Did you have a ‘crafty’ major in school (is that politically correct)?
A:“I have yeah, since I was a little girl. I studied textile design and went through the master Seamstress program at URI (she knows what she’s doing). I was studying to become a tailor but didn’t fall in love with it.”
Jenni also sells her own line of aprons, napkins, bags, pot holders, purses, and other whimsical things that she makes from up-cycled fabric, all available at Curated. Her company is called Fruition, and she started it four years ago out of her home, almost by accident.
Q:What was the first thing you ever made for Fruition?
A:“A diaper bag, ironically I have none here. It happened by chance, someone asked me to custom make them a diaper bag for a friends baby shower and when they opened the gift I already had an order for three more.”
Q:Where do you get your fabrics?
A:“I get most of my fabrics from estate sales, yard sales, a lot was handed down to me. My Mom and Grandma were both seamstresses, they’ve bequeathed me many items.”
Don’t you just love how Jenni articulates? Who, in the New World, says ‘bequeathed’?
Q:Where does the name ‘Fruition’ come from?
A:“I always thought that: if all my ducks were ever lined up in a row, it meant that my life had come to fruition, and everything was organized and I could start my company, it just kind of happened.”
Q:How do you know when everything is organized?
A:“It never is really … [she laughs] at some point you believe that it is and then you just jump.
Q:How do you know (the other) Jennifer?
A:“Jennifer Sunderland and I, we are ‘Old Betts’. We met at The Landing in 1991, she was a hostess I was a cocktail waitress.”
Q: What’s her story?
A:“Jennifer has a degree in Fine Art and is the Executive Director at Tiverton Four Corners Art Center, she also is the Property Manager at East Design Company. Jen also sells her own handmade note cards in the shop, they’re based on her drawings.”
Q:If a local artisan is interested in selling their goods at your shop, what would you tell them?
A:“We have an online application [but] one of the biggest things we try not to do is have in-house competition, so if someone submits something that looks like what we already carry we will be less inclined to accept them.”
Q: Is there something you think the shop is missing or you’d like to see added to the collection?
A: “We would like to expand our selection of locally sourced culinary goods (local hot sauce, jams, honey), and pottery.”
Q: Is there anything you’d like to communicate to the public that I haven’t asked you about specifically?
A: “I just want people to know that Jen and I started this shop from our hearts and we believe in every artisan in this shop. We feel like we have gotten a lot of support in this community, we want people to support the communities and support the makers. Give art a chance! We have something for everyone, things for $10 and things for $1,000 and something in between, whether it’s a gift or just to treat yourself.
Curated also offers gift registries for that local someone who is expecting, getting married, or taking another trip around the sun. If you’d like to visit the shop the hours are 10a.m. until 4p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12p.m. until 4p.m. on Sunday.