Local Love

A Visit with Sara from Sara’s House in Hamilton, OH


There is so much to love about our sleepy little hometown. The history. The architecture. The everybody-knows-everybody small town feel without really being a small town. There is a sense of community among its inhabitants that can be seen throughout; from the impressive turnout at the Antique Car or 4th of July parades to the “I believe in Hamilton” t-shirts on the backs of those behind the revitalization of downtown. It’s a quirky little city with its own personality – and we’re proud to call it home.

We hope you’ll join us as we explore some of the people and events behind the downtown makeover in the next few months, but for now we’d like to introduce you to one of our favorite little shops that always seems to have just what we’re looking for: Sara’s House.

Located on High Street (in the old “Hungry Bunny” restaurant space) is a little treasure owned by Sara Vallandingham. A Nashville native turned Hamilton believer and a girl after our own heart. Take a step inside her store and you’ll see why. Every corner holds a little piece of history. In fact, even the building itself has a great story – but we’ll get there in a moment.

Let’s begin with what they’re known for … her modern-meets-memory-lane take on lamps and lighting. She and her husband have turned things like antique radios, car parts, even old milkshake blenders into the perfect antique touch for any room in your house.

Among the small gifts, candles and antique or refinished items available in her store is a beautiful and well loved antique piano. (The neatest part – it belonged to her grandmother who raised a family from its black and white keys – a World War II widow who made extra money by giving piano lessons.) It is big and beautiful and is the perfect nostalgic centerpiece for her store.

Charm runs throughout the entire space, and doesn’t stop with its owner. While talking about our shared love for meeting and new people through pursuing a dream. Sara gave us some great advice. “Its not always about the numbers. Sometimes its about community.” Sara’s House is part of the “Alive After 5” series in Hamilton. She wants to encourage everyone to put tomorrow’s event “Under the Sea” on their calendar and bring the family along for a scavenger hunt, coconut bowling and lots of family fun. Alive After 5 is held every first Thursday of the month from 5pm – 9pm and features crafts, music, great food and of course – shopping!

Check out some highlights from our interview below:

SJD: Why Hamilton?
My storefront used to be in bridgewater. When the building on High street went up for sale we thought we’d give it a try, and I love it. It has a wonderful sense of community.
SJD: Do you know the history of your building? 
Most recently is was a bail bondsman, before that is was a restaurant . During the flood it was a cigar shop, But in the 30s it was a dance studio.
   
SJD: Did you find anything while renovating?
The coolest thing was a cardboard box filled with a bunch of dance tickets and some dance shoes, from when the room was a dance studio. I framed all of those tickets actually.
SJD: What do you look for?
I look for anything. Our signature items have become our lamps.
You’ll find on the Sara’s House website that the joy that she experiences every day in her quaint corner boutique is her “own kind of fulfilling happiness.” It was at that moment that 3 customers walked in and were greeted by that same welcoming smile that we were welcomed by just 30 minutes prior. We encourage everyone to take the time to visit and to bring Sara’s House to your house.

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