In 1994, Phyllis Castells and her daughter Catalina founded Heart of the Home as an expression of their love for handmade American craft.
As we've grown over the years into a centerpiece of New Hope's bustling Main Street, we have worked hard to remain true to our original vision: bringing the best in American fine crafts to our appreciative customers. We take great pride in the care with which we curate and present our collection.
When you visit, you are invited to touch and interact with the work, getting to know it and the artists who create it.
Meet The Staff
Phyllis Castells came to this enterprise after spending a number of years as a data-processing recruiter. She returned to art school to fulfill a lifelong dream and after 4 years of truly exhilarating effort received a BFA from Rutgers and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.
She realized that her next big vision was to have just the kind of store you see when you visit Heart of the Home; but to make sure that all the customers felt welcome, could touch the wonderful crafts on display, and would be taken care of by attentive, enthusiastic staff.
Anna Stange is our enthusiastic, closet cleaning General Manager. Anna joined the Heart of the Home Team in January 2010. She is a Jersey local from the Trenton area. She graduated from Drew University in 2008 with a major in English and minor in French and Fine Art.
Following her studies, she relocated to Switzerland in order to pursue her passion for travel and the French language. Venez parlez français avec elle!
She's been artistically inclined since childhood, with a range of experience from crayons on the wall to macramé, weaving, caning, and ceramics. She is thrilled to be working with all the fabulous creations made by American Artists.
C. Ivy Palmer is Heart of the Home's Jewelry Coordinator, and enjoys connecting the work of amazing jewelry and accessory creators with the people who appreciate their beauty and craftsmanship. Her academic background is in psychology, and she's amused how often she finds herself using her degree on a daily basis. She enjoys comic book movies, knitting and spinning yarn, and spending time with the extended family of artisans, performers, weirdos, and avid adventurers she's fallen in with, who encourage her creatively and keep her smiling.
Michael Beckley is one of the longest-tenured folks in the shop, having been around since 2002. Affectionately known as "El Subterrano" (the basement dweller), he deals primarily with shipping and receiving. He likes knife- and wood-crafting and is proud to be involved with the Made in America movement in crafting and retail.
John McNally was born in Pittsburgh, and wound up on the Jersey side of the Delaware via Baton Rouge and San Francisco (he took the long way ‘round). With an MFA in poetry, he ran a bookstore and proofread before returning East in ‘96. Inspired by the new digs, he began studying oil painting with local artist Robert Beck.
Nowadays, when he’s not demonstrating kaleidoscopes at Heart of the Home, he travels to plein air (i.e., “outdoor”) painting competitions throughout the east coast, where he’s won a number of awards.
He lives in Annandale NJ with his daughter, Marinne and his wife, Anne. This is his second gig with Heart of the Home – some of you may remember him from his first stint at the Flood House around the turn of the century. He’s glad to be back!
Barbara Zeis is one of our Sales Associates. Her love and appreciation for beautiful, handmade crafts and jewelry, and her love of the New Hope area brought her to Heart of the Home after a 26 year career as a Client/Customer Service Manager and Planning and Project Management Manager.
Melisande Hoffmann is a native of the area. She has an extensive background working in the hotel and airline industries. She enjoyed four active years living and working at Grand Canyon National Park. Now back home, she is enjoying being close with her immediate family and friends. In the hot summer, she loves to go with her friends and simply float down the Delaware River on a tube. She frequently hikes the canal path looking for blue herons along the way. She's a nature enthusiast. Heart of the Home is the perfect fit for Melisande. She enjoys her team of co-workers and even better the advice of her employer, the savvy Phyllis Castells.
Laura Bray joined us in Fall of 2016 as a Sales Associate. Romanian born and raised in the heart of bucolic Translylvania, Laura's life in America started 10 years ago with a student "Work and Travel" program. Here, she founded a family and a home, and now she lives happily with her husband Sam and daughter Amethyst in Pipersville , PA.
Artistic by nature, she's been inspired since childhood to express her inner self in little works of art; be they pencil drawings, clay sculptures ,crocheting, and more recently, painting the walls of her own house; which sparked the beginnings of a small mural business.
The love of New Hope, all things handmade and social interchange gets her out of the house to connect with like-minded people at Heart of the Home. Take a look at her mural paintings on her website: www.muraldreams.com
(C) 1998, 2016 Heart of the Home. All Rights Reserved. Images from this site may not be reproduced in any way without prior written permission of Heart of the Home and/or the artist whose work is portrayed.