Janet Markarian, left, and her daughter Abby Collier own Orient...

Janet Markarian, left, and her daughter Abby Collier own Orient Linen Co. in Orient. Credit: Orient Linen Co/Orient Linen Co

It’s not uncommon for shoppers visiting Orient Linen Co. to chat with the owners about how they passed along to their children something they previously bought at the East End shop. 

And the business itself is somewhat of a family affair. Since opening in 2001, the shop has been in a building that is an addition to the Orient home of the owners — Abby Collier, and her mother, Janet Markarian. The duo also makes some of the store’s products.

“Many still come in the shop frequently and tell me about the quilts they bought years ago that they still have,” Collier says of the store’s customers. “I love knowing that our items last forever and are sometimes passed down to younger generations as they go to college or buy their own houses.” 

Markarian is an historian and former textile designer who created her own line of textiles when she lived in China. She worked as a textile conservator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a textile designer for the costume collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Things sold at the shop include home furnishing textiles in linen and cotton, wool blankets, shower curtains, enamelware, jewelry and canvas and straw hats. The linen comes from places like France and Eastern Europe — with Collier, Markarian and a local sewer making some items like aprons, napkins, tea towels, place mats and bedspreads. Limited custom work is available.

“My mother’s skill set as a textile designer and conservator informs each fabric that we pick for the store,” Collier explains. “She then designs products based on each fabric. It’s a very meticulous process and she really takes time to consider how each piece might function and be used long term.”

The mother-daughter team has a “no waste” policy when making items. Quilt trimmings might be used to create potholders and tiny scraps are used for even smaller products such as lavender sachets. “You never know what you’ll find at our shop,” Markarian adds.

Prices range from around $14 for a block of lavender soap to linen quilts that can be priced above $200.

The shop is located at 1100 Village Lane in Orient. Store hours for fall through the holiday season are Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In addition, the shop is open by appointment; 631-521-3712, orientlinenco.com.