In my humble opinion

When the going gets tough

Posted 2/9/22

The tough go shopping? I’m fairly sure that’s not how the original phrase reads, so naturally, I took to the internet to find out. It would appear that “When the going gets tough, …

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In my humble opinion

When the going gets tough


The tough go shopping? I’m fairly sure that’s not how the original phrase reads, so naturally, I took to the internet to find out. It would appear that “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is attributed to both Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969) and legendary Notre Dame football player and famed coach Knute Rockne (1888-1931), but my money is on Kennedy. In fact, when asked to elucidate—not one of Rockne’s strengths, IMHO—Kennedy had this to say: “When the situation gets critical, those who aren’t weak-willed work harder and never give up.” I suppose Knute could have come up with that, but we’ll never know, since it’s weirdly attributed to both. C’mon Google, you’re better than that.

One thing is certain, neither was referring to the rigors of shopping, online or otherwise, and “tough” is not a word often attributed to me.  I loathe having to buy things and do it as little as possible. I abhor malls, hate trying clothes on, give very little thought to how I look (clearly) and dislike everything that goes with all of that. I’m not even much of a food fan, so grocery shopping is at the top of my most-hated chores. But since the Universe is hell-bent on my displeasure these days, my years-old washing machine shook, sputtered, leaked gallons of water all over my garage floor; the water then froze (of course) before “giving up the ghost.” I have no clue where that pithy expression comes from, but I’ll save that for another day.

“I’m not made of money,” as Barbara Fox was fond of saying, so my garage isn’t heated; is yours? Therefore, appliance shopping was suddenly a chore that needed doing, (yes, I did my research first) because I haven’t gone to a Laundromat for decades and am not in the mood to start now.

“Hmmm,” I muttered to the dog, who was pawing through her wardrobe, looking for a clean winter coat to slip into, “how can I make this excursion more pleasant?”

And then it happened. I recalled reading about a new art space “popping up” not far from home, during the holidays. It’s called Solstice Indie Mart and it’s created by none other than Honeybee Herbs’ own Kelley Edkins, who has a store on Main Street in Margaretville that specializes in medicinal herbal remedies, handcrafted tea blends, skin care products and so much more. Her son, local entrepreneur Corey Nash Gips (Prestige Productions and Prestige Energy Solutions), purchased a building, located at 980 Route 17B in Mongaup Valley. While he was trying to figure out how to best utilize the space for his businesses, he offered his mom some of the unused square footage for a holiday pop-up shop, which Kelley asked artist Joan Nicole to set up during the festive shopping season.

Nicole knows scads of local artists, so it took her no time at all to fill the place with booths featuring jewelry, pottery, vintage clothing, paintings, wood sculptures crystals, books and even some old-fashioned toys that reminded me of my youth. I’m not as old as Knute or Kennedy (they’re dead) but the shop features 80-something-year-old woodcarver Bill Michalski’s old-fashioned handmade wooden vehicles just like the one my grampa made for me when I was a kid. Kelley made sure that I went home with one—a pick-up truck!—along with some herbal tea and other goodies. Thanks, Kelley, it brought me back to the good old days.

The place currently features other artists you might know, such as Zac Shavrick, Mike Bloom, Kali Seastrand, the ubiquitous Ramona Jan and “Cosmicworlds” handmade art and apparel by the super-talented Charley Jordan Gips, because why not? It’s a family affair, after all. In fact, Kelley’s sister Tami Edkins Swanson has relocated to Sullivan County to run the place. She clearly knows what she’s doing, since the original pop-up kept going and is still open for business, and is busy, with no sign of closing in sight.

Dharma the Wonder Dog and I had a ball visiting with the crew on hand at the Solstice Indie Mart last weekend and it epitomizes “buy local, shop local, support local” artists and artisanal products, goods and services; representing more than 20 at last count.

According to my calendar, Valentine’s Day (ugh) is just around the corner, so if you’re searching for something unique, look no further. Kelley and Co. have more plans—live music, a coffee and tea bar, and special events, so look for them on Facebook (she promised me a page coming soon) or just swing by. Yes, after my visit at the very cool Solstice Indie Mart, I bought a damn washing machine, and it was nowhere near as much fun.

Fun Fact: “When the Going gets Tough, the Tough get Going” is the title of a song written by Billy Ocean and is featured in the soundtrack for the 1985 20th Century Fox motion picture “The Jewel of the Nile.”

when the going gets tough, washing machine, Solstice Indie Mart, Kelley Edkins, Joan Nicole, holiday pop-up shop, artists, artisanal products


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