The door was slightly ajar as if to welcome my presence. As I entered Willow Tree Primitive Shop, a new home décor gift shop that provides multiple selections of early period decorating furnishings, keepsakes and relics at 6 Sabbady Point Road in Windham, I was greeted with a kind smile by co-owner, Carrie Perry.
Perry introduced me to all four rooms that make up the cozy store of collections, each decorated with primitive objects. “This is my mom’s favorite room,” Carrie said about her mother and business partner, Debbe Webb. “She calls it the old room.”
As you enter her “mom’s room”, which is filled with items such as pewter and early period kitchen and serving utensils, old world prints and primitive upholstered furniture, one is taken back in time with a sense they have finally arrived home. “We are often told by our customers that our shop feels warm and inviting.”
Perry and Webb, purchased Willow Tree Primitives in November of 2018, which was a gift shop originally established in Lewiston. After the purchase, the new owners moved the business to Windham, where Perry resides. They officially opened their doors on December 6, 2018. Webb and Perry are in the process of changing the name slightly to Willow Tree Primitive Shop.
The road to primitive home décor collections comes from a passion to discover personal home adornment preferences. “For the longest time, I was trying to find my own way in personal home decoration,” explained Webb. “I decorated in French Country, but decided that did not suit me. I enjoyed Home Interior for a while until I came across the Country Peddler in the mid-1990s and I discovered I enjoyed decorating my home in the rustic style, it was more of a fit for me” she laughed.
Country Peddler is a popular online presence that offers primitive home accessories from candles and clocks to furniture and linens. For more clarification, the website, thespruce.com, describes primitive décor as:
*Crude, simple, or unrefined (or as Webb and Perry prefer to describe as “functional and homey”)
*From an early period of history
*Made by a primitive artist
“A primitive piece of furniture or décor is handmade. Secondly, a person without formal training or craftsmanship made it. Third, most often, a primitive item is utilitarian: furniture, dishware, tools, and cooking items are all considered primitive. And lastly, a primitive item is old—generally, old enough to qualify as an antique. It’s the combination of age, lack of pretense, and practical purpose that gives a primitive item, whether furniture or some other household good, its well-worn, simple appearance, NOT intentional design.”
You will find many locally Maine made and handmade items at Willow Tree Primitive Shop. “We have local artists from Maine who supply our shop with many gifts and decorations such as signage, candles, artwork/prints, and dolls,” stated Perry. Also available, are Willow Tree figurines and locally produced raw honey, soaps and lip balm.
Although only open for the past three months, they are honored by the many customers who enjoy having this primitive gift shop in the area. “We felt so welcomed from the minute we entered. They have a great variety of things. Great to have a nice shop in the area if you need a nice gift,” stated a recent customer, Donna Harrington.
“The only one thing that might be a challenge for us, is the confusion of our location,” Perry said. “People see our sign on Tandberg Trail, next to the Little Log Cabin Montessori School, located at 120 Tandberg Trail. People drive into the parking lot of the Montessori school, and soon realize they need to drive down Sabbady Point Road to our parking lot. It’s a bit confusing and we understand that. I’d like to make it clear that we are behind the school, but one must enter on to Sabbady Point Road.”
Webb added, “We are on the country road off Tandberg Trail….the road to a primitive experience.”
Be sure to visit Willow Tree Primitive Shop at their three-day open house on Thursday through Saturday, April 4, 5, and 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to follow their Facebook page for the latest announcements. For more information, contact Perry or Webb at (207) 572-4100.