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Even Better Now

There is a new store in Downtown Durham ! Celebrate Durham is happy to announce there is a new member of the Downtown community ! Even Better Now has just opened its doors at 3 Jenkins Court in Downtown Durham .

Even Better Now is an eclectic store that is best understood through the experience. It specializes in classic rescued furniture, mostly with mid-century or Danish flavor. They find furniture with great bones, that may need restoration and TLC, that will find a new life in a new home. Even Better Now also sources unique, often vintage gifts from all over the world, including items that you knew as a child and had forgotten you loved. They also produce handmade items in-store that are not found anywhere else. Even Better Now is also a Tabletop Game store that provides sales of tabletop games, game demos available to play anytime, and a public space to play games with friends and family.

Even Better Now is the vision of Molly and James Hollister- to provide a store that allows them to promote the idea of living life with things that are beautiful and purposeful, constantly changing, with always something different and always fresh. The Hollisters are fairly new to Durham , moving here just 3 years ago. Their move to Durham came as a lifestyle change . The Hollisters loved Durham’s small town charm and locational beauty. With the move to Durham James and Molly found that they now had an opportunity to follow some lifetime dreams. James and Molly realized the potential of Durham’s downtown area, and are enthusiastic about bringing high end, destination goods to this vibrant community.

Molly is an expert, self-taught furniture re-upholsterer, who built a following in the Portland Maine area with her high quality vintage furniture recovered with creative inspiring fabrics.

She also is an accomplished creator, and is able to rescue, refinish and reinvent useful

items into ones that are both useful and beautiful. Molly’s vision included a space in which she could highlight all the pieces she had rescued and recreated so that they could find a new home, avoid the landfill and waste, and become a new family’s treasured heirloom. For Molly it is most important to be original , “ I make everything up “ she says. Molly began her interest in refinishing furniture by watching her dad. It was this childhood experience that developed her love of the craft. She is self taught and makes many of her own finishes . “ The pieces evolve “ she says as she lets her curiosity and creativity take over. Molly loves to find the pieces that have been forgotten and gives them a new chance at life .

But wait ! Is that a game I see sitting there on the back table ? Even Better Now is also a Tabletop Board Game store. Modern Board Games have evolved tremendously over the past decade, and are enjoying a resurgence of popularity. James believes that tabletop games, once the favorite of nerds and geeks, are being enjoyed by the general population, in part as a backlash to our ever-increasing video, online and digital lifestyle. “Online things are great, but I think people are realizing how important it is to have face to face time together, and to have a huge amount of fun in a small social atmosphere.” Tabletop games are much more varied than they used to be. Thanks to crowdfunding sources such as, anyone with a good idea can raise enough money to publish a game. It lowered the barrier to entry, and there are so many creative, inventive and inspired people in the world with amazing ideas for games that the result is a tremendous number of new games that are fun to play- solo, in a pair, or with a crowd of family, friends, or friends to be.

Games are important for childhood development too, says James. Games have always been used by kids to explore rules and develop creativity, but it is especially valuable for kids who have trouble in social settings. “Kids who have trouble in social environments, or those who don’t pick up social cues easily benefit from games because they provide a structure and framework for social interaction that is clear and understood by everyone.” James and Molly decided to open the game aspect of the store as a way to provide a space for the community to come together and enjoy gaming. James noted “I spoke to so many people who loved board games, played them all the time, or knew people who did. We knew that the community could really benefit from a public place for people to play.” James host weekly gaming nights which are every Thursday starting around 5 pm., going until 10:30 or so. This is a free event and is open at all levels of gaming experience. Even Better Now especially welcomes new people who have little game experience because showing them how fun new games are is very rewarding.

So how do two seemingly different stores find space to exist together? Well, very well actually . Even Better Now is the place you can stop in and browse . You might sit down and play a game with James or chat about the lovely pillow cases just like grandma had with Molly . Either way you are sure to enjoy your time in Even Better Now, where every corner has something different that will trigger a memory or just make you feel good. Molly and James also really appreciate the input, cooperation and encouragement of other Durham businesses. Sarah at the Main Street Makery, Chris at the Candy Bar, Tony at Thai Smile 2, Amy at Amy’s Frame Shop, town councilors Sally Tobias and Al Howland, Lynn and Benjamin at Summer’s End Studios, Caitlin at Red Carpet Florist, Pete Murphy, Stogie at Town and Campus, Roger and Petra at Hayden Sports, and everyone at Celebrate Durham have supplied endless optimism and support and great advice.

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