Wit and Whim officially opens for business: Port’s newest store is a fun place to shop, give back, and discover new art

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Courtesy of Laurie Scheinman

Whit and Whim offers a variety of eclectic items within a wide price range. Purchases at the store support the not-for-profit causes.

Daniella Philipson, Features Editor

Since the end of September, Port Washington has been home to Wit and Whim, a quaint local shop that combines art with fashion and philanthropy.  The cozy store houses a collection of unique gifts, jewelry, and artwork in a recently restored 1885 home at 6 Carlton Ave., just past the Port Washington Public Library.  Wit and Whim’s offerings are similar to those of Anthropologie—fashionable clothing items and accessories that are versatile enough to be dressed up or simply worn casually.

In order to create an eclectic one-of-a-kind feeling, Wit and Whim’s founder, Ms. Laurie Scheinman, draws upon a variety of sources to piece together the store’s collection.  Wit and Whim is brimming with fun fashions, unique accessories, and pieces of artwork that make for great birthday or holiday gifts.  The prices are as diverse as the products, ranging from $8 for a Lego Ring to $3,500 for an upcycled rug.

“I have gotten great stuff from vintage markets and estate sales.  I also like to check out the scene in Brooklyn and SoHo and try my best to bring the art and fashion of the city into Port Washington,” said Ms. Scheinman.

The Brooklyn and SoHo influences are certainly evident once you enter the store and take in the leather goods and New York City-inspired artwork that lines the walls.  Leather bags, wallets, and coin purses are only some of the items that feature fun images of the city.  The pop art inspired t-shirts, patterned infinity scarves, clutches, and vintage clocks are scattered throughout the store and make for exciting eye candy.

Ms. Scheinman’s jewelry collection is especially impressive and reasonably priced, especially for the high school student’s relatively thin wallet.  The best part of it all is that all Schreiber and Weber students get a 15% discount upon presenting a student ID card at the register.

“When I travel abroad I try to bring back the brands and items that are really big over there.  Our brass necklaces are an item that have been really popular here that I brought over from London,” said Ms. Scheinman.

Ms. Scheinman wanted Wit and Whim to be more than merely a place to shop; she hoped to create a place for philanthropy.  Through collaborations with organizations and artists, Wit and Whim has dedicated itself to giving back to the community.

For example, each of the funky rose hair clips, which are hand-dyed and wrapped in Africa, is named after an orphaned child.  With each purchase of a “named” hair clip, proceeds are sent to the orphanage housing the children for whom the accessories are named.

Wit and Whim also partners with Hearts, a non-profit organization that aims to preserve and enrich the arts in Port Washington public schools.  During the months of November and December, a portion of Wit and Whim’s profits will go the the American Red Cross to help aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Whether you want to buy your holiday presents, discover new arists and designers, or help a good cause, Wit and Whim is a great place to check out!