Friday, June 26, 2009

Cape Cod Screwballs Return to Eden

Hidden on a back road just off Rte 6A in Dennis, MA, you will find Eden.

Not in the Biblical sense of course; but rather that of a local jewelry maker. Eden’s Hand Arts, maker of the “Cape Cod Screwball” bracelet, to be exact. Almost everyone I know on the Cape (and beyond) has one of these instantly recognizable silver bangles (the one with the small gold ball) on their wrist. Everyone that is, except me.

Having lived on the Cape for over 10 years now, my Mother decided it was high time I have one too. I just celebrated a “big” birthday, so my Mother and Sister took me to Edens to get me my very own bracelet as a birthday gift. Both my Mother and Sister each have one of these bracelets, and have visited the small, almost shed-size shop several times. Now it was my turn to experience shopping at Eden’s. And what an experience it was.

To give you a little history on the bracelet, local legend has it that Eden’s designer, John Carey, was the first to create this simple, yet highly sought-after bracelet. Unfortunately, he failed to secure a patent on the design, so just about every jewelry store and gift shop on the Cape offers their version of it. Eden’s even has a disclaimer on their brochure and website: that states “No other website or store is authorized to sell our Eden Cape Cod Screwball jewelry.” That being said, if you have an authentic Eden bracelet, it makes you feel like you are part of a very small and highly guarded secret society.

It feels like a secret society for many reasons. First of all, it was a good thing my Mother had been to Eden’s several times before, otherwise I don’t think I would have found it on my own. In fact, if it weren’t for the unexpected rush of cars turning, backing up and frantically vying for the 6 parking spaces in front of the shop, I would have driven right past it. Second, there seems to be some unwritten rules (among the many posted rules) for shopping at Edens.

Here are just a few of them, with a word to the wise:
1. Hit the bank machine before you go – they only accept cash or checks (no credit cards).
2. You cannot park on the street (or even up on the grassy shoulder). If all 6 parking spaces are taken, you either need to circle the block a couple times and hope that one opens up, or you’ll need to park in the gas station parking lot down the street and walk over. (They even have a rule against turning around in the neighboring driveways.) They are VERY strict about parking, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on your shopping experience before you’ve even gotten out of your car.
3. The line forms out the door, so be prepared to wait. Maybe bring a paperback book or an ipod... The wait can be anywhere from a couple of minutes to over an hour. We had a good day; we only had to wait 15 minutes.
4. Once you finally get to the front of the line (at the doorway) don’t let your excitement and anticipation get the best of you. They will scold you if you stand too close to the door. I recommend not stepping up on the first step until the person in charge motions for you to do so. Trust me – you’ve come this far and waited too long; you wouldn’t want to be sent packing at this point!
5. They only let 2 groups of customers in the shop at a time. As with most things, safety in numbers: Go with a couple of friends. It will make the time pass and will add to the overall shopping experience.
6. Know what you want before you go in. The more you look like you know what you’re doing, the nicer the salesperson will be.
7. Appreciate this unique and truly New England-style shopping experience. All kidding aside, Eden is a very special artisan jeweler and it is evident they are very proud of their product. If you have any questions or need an adjustment made to one of their pieces, they will treat you with much respect and gratitude for your patronage.

So, if in doubt, make sure your bracelet has the tell-tale small silver Eden tag, which indicates you have an authentic “Screwball” bracelet, and not a knock-off copy. This tells the World you shopped at Eden’s and lived to tell about it! Happy shopping, and Good Luck!


blog nerd said...

awesome post. can't wait to visit this shop.

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a great place and real slice of Cape Cod life. Thanks for telling us about it!

stephaniej3 said...

Love this! I am happy that you got your bracelet and I would love to get Natalie's there!

despitethesnow said...

How much money do they range from?

His Jewel said...

Is your bracelet different? Yours looks like there is a black screwball instead of gold? How much do the bracelets cost so I know how much money I need to take with me?

Sandy said...

The bracelet I got was appx. $65, but they have many different sizes, designs and styles to choose from, so contact Eden's for more information and pricing: or (508) 385-9708. Good luck!