In just a few small rooms at Bella Luna — a gift store that recently opened in Twisp — Deborah Lord has squeezed in thousands of delightful objects: vintage beaded dresses and leather biker wear; original art; old dinner sets, colored glass bottles and cut crystal; jewelry and hair ornaments; records and books; eyeglasses; antique furniture; handmade quilts and pillows; and bathing suits.
Lord grew up on a dairy farm on Twisp River before launching a nomadic existence that took her through Alaska, the Southwest, and just about every corner of Washington. “I have an Amelia Earhart spirit. I’m an adventurer,” she said. “I like to wrap that around my livelihood. It’s kind of a service for the community.”
With all her adventures, Lord has honed a diverse skill set. She’s worked in retail, represented Navajo and Ute artists in the Southwest, pulled mule strings in the Sawtooths, and done landscaping and gardening. But through it all, she’s indulged her passion for unearthing one-of-a-kind items.
“It’s a mixing pot. I’m doing that here, trying to have something for each culture,” she said. The shop features art by local artists and Navajo painters, ceramics and sculptures from China and Japan, and baskets from South America.
“When I say it’s this and that, it comes from different directions,” Lord said. “I like to go hand-pick treasures. I know the history of almost everything in the store.”
“I’m real selective about what I put out,” Lord said. Even though many of the clothes are decades old, they’re in pristine condition. You can go through and dress yourself fun for nothing.” You can also find everyday jeans and tops. Some clothes are brand-new.
There are lots of unpredictable items among the clothes, antiques and collectibles. In what Lord calls the “man cave,” people can pick up paint, hardware and building materials left over from her son’s construction jobs.
Another novelty is the heated cupholders (they plug into a car’s cigarette lighter) that Lord’s children invented. All customers get one to try out.
Lord makes maximum use of the small space. There are so many goodies and surprises crammed into the shop that Lord reminds people to look up, where baskets and baubles hang from the ceiling, and to open drawers, where shoppers will discover jewelry or tablecloths. There’s a kids’ corner with stuffed animals and sparkly tutus. She’s selling ornaments off the Christmas tree.
Bella Luna (Lord adds a subtitle of sorts — Nostalgic Journey — to describe her vision for the store) is open Friday through Monday. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, but there are often longer hours, particularly for the Christmas shopping season. Shoppers should look for the illuminated “Open” sign.
Bella Luna is on Second Avenue in Twisp, across from North Cascades Bank.