Artisan couple opens downtown Wilmington’s ‘By The Boardwalk’ to house creations (Photos)

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In love with travel and the art it inspires, Rebecca Chipman opened the eclectic By The Boardwalk to showcase her creations. Photos by Hilary Snow.
In love with travel and the art it inspires, Rebecca Chipman opened the eclectic By The Boardwalk to showcase her creations. Photos by Hilary Snow and Hannah Leyva.

WILMINGTON – After years of travel and exploration–and a relocation or two– Rebecca Chipman’s passion has a permanent home.

Cozy and eclectic, Chipman’s downtown decor shop, By The Boardwalk, contains a treasure trove of her paintings and photos–created and captured as close as the North Carolina coast and as far away as France.

It’s a space she shares with her husband, whose own obsession–hand-tooled and hand-sewn leather items–serves as a store centerpiece and a point of collaboration for the couple.

Chipman, whose husband works with leather, said By The Boardwalk was a way to finally put their work out there.
Chipman, whose husband works with leather, said By The Boardwalk was a way to finally put their work out there.

“It’s a passion I wanted to bring to fruition,” Chipman said of By The Boardwalk. “My husband and I finally decided it’s time to start putting our work out there.”

The couple, who came to Wilmington by way of Missouri, actually got going on By The Boardwalk back in late 2015 at the City Market along South Front Street. But in April, Chipman made the move to Cotton Exchange.

“This building just fit,” she noted.

And fit it does. In addition to Chipman’s original pieces, the store is filled floor to ceiling with the wonderfully odd and unique–brass octopus candle stands, nautical-themed decor, globes. And, of course, there is an array of rustic journals bound in leather, some bearing watermarks of Chipman’s photography.

Having those personal, handmade touches makes an impact on By the Boardwalk’s customers, Chipman said. And being connected to her merchandise keeps her excited about her business.

“I have a sign in here that says, ‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,'” she said. “That’s how I feel here.”

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