Shop Visit: Weston TableText by Erika Ayn Finch
This story begins, fittingly, around an actual Weston table. Dianne O’Connor, a Montana native who’d had a career in finance before deciding to stay home with her five children, sat her family down one night in their Weston, Massachusetts, dining room and told them that she planned to dive back into the workforce—on her own terms.
O’Connor wanted to marry her love of decor, travel, and entertaining, but she didn’t want to give up being an involved mom. A year later, in 2015, she and her friend and business partner Kate Arnold launched an immersive online marketplace, westontable.com. The duo’s purpose is to encourage shoppers to slow down and purchase with intention.
“We wanted to change the way you think about how you spend your hard-earned money,” recalls O’Connor, “and to teach people to buy with their heart. The site was designed to offer not only a product but an experience.”
That experience includes anecdotes about the international roster of artisans Weston Table represents along with travel blogs, recipes, global restaurant recommendations, and a gift registry. The product photography on the site is noticeably different from most online boutiques. Eschewing silhouetted images, Arnold, who captures the majority of the photos, uses lifestyle shots to tell a story. Eyeing those Swedish-made oil lamps? Here’s how they will look lit on a flower-festooned picnic table.
Last April, O’Connor and Arnold opened a physical space in Weston’s tiny downtown. Entering the shop, you’re greeted by a wall of vintage Old World oyster plates. (There’s one plate on the wall from the U.S.; make sure you ask about the story behind it.) Wool blankets from Swan’s Island, Maine, and sushi plates handcrafted in Arizona coexist with Match pewter, proprietary maple syrup, Simon Pearce barware, antique French cutting boards, designer fire extinguishers, and a repurposed, vintage Louis Vuitton trunk. At the back of the boutique, a wall of screens flashes images from the Weston Table website.
O’Connor bills the space as “the new nostalgia.” Nothing inside—or online—is too precious for everyday use, even if that means thinking outside the box. (Champagne buckets as waste baskets or flower containers? Why not?) It’s a place to pause, ponder, and, dare we say, relax. There’s a story behind each object, and once you’ve heard one story, you’re curious for more. “Every nook and cranny reveals a treasure,” says O’Connor.
Weston Table, Weston, Mass.
February 12, 2020
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