All the beauty of the Cape Region soon will be featured in a new gift shop coming to Milton this year.
Rehoboth Beach resident and artist Lisa Edmonds will open Cape Treasure at 113 Union St. in early March, the former location of Wine Knot Shop and P.C. Rods, which closed in December.
Cape Treasure has made its mark at Delmarva festivals, thanks to Edmonds' ocean-inspired shadowboxes, which offer a scaled-down, affordable version of fine art for beach lovers.
“This is affordable art. She found a niche,” said Edmonds' husband, John. “When she started painting murals, they blew me away. That's how she first started, and she's only gotten better in the last five years.”
Sandcastles, shorebirds and sand are staples of Edmonds' shadowboxes, which feature a painting accented by nautical frames and decorations.
Lisa was inspired to start painting after her husband of 28 years suffered serious injuries from a motorcycle accident about five years ago. Painting became a stress reliever, and Edmonds said she quickly found it could be a much-needed source of income during hard times.
“It was a way for me to work through it,” she said. “And it's been wonderful. It's been such an adventure.”
Since then, the self-taught artist has created more than 1,000 handmade shadowboxes, several murals and dozens of canvas paintings, some of which also are featured on notecards and plates that will be sold at the store.
Lisa said she finds inspiration at her favorite eastern Sussex County spots – especially the sights and critters at Cape Henlopen State Park.
“We're always going to have new and fresh things,” Lisa said. “I think that's what keeps people coming back, because I'm always thinking about new things to make.”
Lisa said the store will carry a variety of beach décor and accessories in addition to her own works, such as beach towels and totes. She said Cape Treasure will carry everything from $5 trinkets to $1,200 original pieces of art.
After years of showcasing her work at festivals throughout Delmarva, including Sea Glass and Sea Witch, the Edmonds jumped on the chance to move into a brick-and-mortar location.
The Edmonds had previously toyed with the idea of opening a shop for Cape Treasure, but were dissuaded by the high rents in coastal towns. But when the 800-square-foot of retail space in Milton became available, it seemed like a natural move.
“I really didn't think she would go for it, but she was more excited than I was,” John said with a laugh.
While Lisa is the main player of Cape Treasure, creating most of the products featured, John gives a helping hand when he can – whether contributing some of his own woodworking skills or just providing support for his wife.
“He keeps me going,” she said.
The Edmonds said opening shop in Milton is like a homecoming, since they lived just a few doors down from their future store back in the 1990s. They hope to open the store in early March.
“It's just a great little town,” John said. “I think it's really going to be a little town of the future. At least I hope so.”