Minden resident Linda Cui said the world is not as big as one thinks.
"The world is small," she said, "and sometimes people need different things than what's traditional; they need more choices."
Tying both ends of the globe together, Cui has opened Eastern Harbor in the Scolari's shopping center. Westerners can now get a taste of the Far East, in the form of paintings, home decor items, sculptures and jewelry, among other things.
"In this town, a lot of people want to buy Asian things, but they have to drive far, to San Francisco or L.A.," Cui said. "Now, people can buy these things here."
Cui, 46, grew up in northeastern China where she had her first daughter Aomi, who's now a student at the Rhode Island School of Design. The family lived in Japan for two years before moving to New Jersey.
"In New Jersey, people are so busy," Cui said. "There's not a lot of time to enjoy life there."
Two years ago, husband Austin Cui got a job out west, and the family relocated to Carson Valley. Their second daughter Sophia, who was born in America, now attends Minden Elementary School.
"I really like it here," Linda Cui said. "I like the people. There's a lot of sunshine, mountains and lakes. Every evening I see big birds flying in the sky. You never see too many birds in New Jersey."
Cui said Eastern Harbor is her first business, springing from a desire to share her heritage with her new home.
"This is a good area for business, but not a good time for business," she said.
Yet Cui remains optimistic. Throughout her store, she's blended splashes of Americana, movie stars, horses and other Western motifs, with Chinese feather art, Japanese tea sets, Mongolian swords and traditional Asian dresses.
"I have a painting from my daughter Aomi, and I hope to have other local artists in here," she said. "We have been receiving so much positive feedback from customers about how much they love our one-of-a-kind products, and the culturally rich atmosphere of our store."
Eastern Harbor is located at 1329 Highway 395, suite 15.
Business hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays.
For more information, call 782-3839.