Ask anyone who knows me—I LOVE gift-giving. But it’s local small businesses like LEMONDROP DESIGNS that make the “job” of giving extraordinary gifts so easy. If you haven’t seen the work of Lemondrop Designs, head over to her Facebook page immediately. Owner Marcy Duarte’s handpainted signs are just beautiful, and you’ll find that many of them will make you feel warm and fuzzy from the meanings behind the painted words.
Marcy started Lemondrop Designs in October of last year, although at the time she didn’t foresee what a flourishing business it would become. Her husband had finished building beds for their boys, and there was a good bit of scrap wood leftover. According to Marcy, “I used some of the wood to make a sign for my son’s teacher’s birthday, and she asked me if I also sold them. So I said, ‘Why, um, yes, I do!’ and went from there.”
There’s a lovely dichotomy to Marcy’s work: her signs are at once rustic and trendy, vintage and contemporary, whimsical and sentimental. Among her repertoire you’ll find distressed shabby-chic signs with very simple words, such as “Beach” or “Laundry.” But you’ll also find signs with poignant Shakespearan quotes, and hilarious signs such as one that reads: “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice family!” I bought an LD original myself–wooden tags that read “Give Thanks,” which became part of of my Thanksgiving tablescape.
What Marcy enjoys most about Lemondrop Designs are the custom signs she creates for clients. She says: “I love when something I create for someone becomes part of their story. If there is a quote someone’s father said on the way out the door every morning, or their grandmother’s cookie recipe, or something they say to their children–these things mean something to my customers.”
Marcy continues: “More than once, I’ve been working on a design with someone and both of us end up in happy tears because it just hits the right mark. And it becomes a part of their home and of their lives and when they walk by it every day, it inspires them, helps them remember someone, or just reminds them to give their kids an extra kiss at bedtime.”
One of the most special custom orders Marcy created was for a client who was a cancer survivor. Marcy made a “Fight Like a Tiger” sign for the client, who had beaten breast cancer (and was also a Clemson alum, hence the “Tiger”). The client had just run the NY marathon, and she had Marcy craft “Been There, Run That” signs for the women she ran with, who had supported her during battle with cancer and while she trained for the run. To capture that love and camaraderie in signs they all can see on their walls every day is just priceless.
Marcy’s handiwork is not just limited to signs. She has personalized pencil holders for teachers, housewares, and even furniture. Recently she teamed up with another local business we adore—Hazel Mae Home—to personalize the cutest vintage roll-top desk you’ve ever seen. I look forward to seeing more from their partnership!
Lemondrop Designs is based right out of Cranford, and Marcy is still accepting custom orders for the holidays (although you should order before December 18 for Christmas-ready items!). Visit the Lemondrop Designs facebook page for more examples of Marcy’s work and contact info, or stop in the Urban SEWciety shop at 66 Elm Street, Suite 2, in Westfield, where you can purchase LD signs. You can also visit Marcy’s Etsy Shop via this link: Lemondrop Designs LLC Trust me. You want one!