By Liz Premo

Atlantic News, Thursday, March 1, 2001

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

IS IT A JUNGLE IN THERE? — Midge Dawes, Owner of Naturally Silk, and her assistant, Denise Arundel pose in front of some beautiful silk orchids on display inside their store located in Downtown Hampton.
[Atlantic News Photo by McGee]

Looking to bring a little bit of the brilliance of springtime into your current winter wonderland? Pay a visit to Naturally Silk, located on Route 1 in downtown Hampton. Step inside and instantly you are surrounded by a luscious sea of color, provided by the countless varieties of silk flowers, plants and greenery carefully displayed from floor to ceiling.

“Customers come in and love seeing all the color,” says Naturally Silk’s owner and creative designer Midge Dawes. “This time of year, everything’s ‘blah.’ You want to see some color — it cheers you up.” Indeed, customers will find plenty of color, texture and variety at Naturally Silk, with skillfully-crafted arrangements, topiaries, wreaths, swags and hanging baskets ready to enhance any decor. These same items may also be custom-created to suit a particular color scheme in any home or business.

“We can make anything you have in mind,” says Dawes. Customers have brought in their wallpaper and fabric samples to give Dawes and her assistant, Denise Arundel, an idea of the living or working area a decorative arrangement will be placed once it has been professionally created at Naturally Silk. To aid in the design of that special floral accessory, Dawes can also go “on-site” to assess the area where her skillful custom-made creations will eventually call “home,” so there is always a perfect match.

Customer satisfaction is always 100 percent guaranteed, and if a design doesn’t meet expectations, Dawes promises she will “do it again.” Usually when customers do return to Dawes’ showroom, however, it’s because they were so satisfied with an original purchase that they wish to take home more.

Whether one’s taste runs toward daisies, tulips, chrysanthemums, ivy, lilies, forsythia, cactus, or sprays of pussy willows or berries, Naturally Silk carries it all. “Just about anything you have in fresh, I have in silk,” says Dawes, “but only better.” Orchids “are really big right now,” says Dawes, who invites customers to come in and see the “amazing varieties of orchids that I have.” One of Dawes’ current new favorites features realistic stems of lush cherry tomatoes in various stages of ripeness. With a few stems of these, and a selection of other silk “vegetables,” smiles Dawes, “you can make a silk salad.”

Displayed on the walls, shelves and hand-painted furnishings found within Dawes’ indoor “garden” are numerous examples of beautiful and vibrant botanical arrangements. A metal watering can overflows with colorful silk poppies, while brilliant silk fuschias and green ivy spill over the edge of hanging baskets. An assortment of hand-painted glassware, serving trays, lampshades and candlesticks are available, as are cute little animal-shaped “Pot Pals” to hang over the edge of a flower pot.

Wicker baskets, clay pots and vases in ceramic and glass all await Dawes’ professional and creative touch, and the wreaths crafted from the fine silk flowers and plants from Naturally Silk are absolutely perfect to hang in that empty wall space that may need just a little something extra. Whatever the customer’s taste, style, budget and decorating needs may be, Naturally Silk can provide excellent floral accents for home or business — in a professionally creative and beautifully natural way.

“If you want high-end, top quality, realistic and botanically-correct plants — that’s what I carry,” says Dawes.

Naturally Silk is located at 446 Lafayette Road in Hampton. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For more information or to make an appointment, call Naturally Silk at 926-5150.