Linda Given

Linda Given discovered a love of retail and small shops in high school when she landed a coveted job as a duster/gift wrapper at the Village Gallery in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.  She was quickly promoted to sales girl/gift wrapper and eventually wound up being the buyer for the store’s American Craft Gallery.  There were other jobs along the way: waitress, musician, and administrative assistant, but she always circled back to retail. Her last position as a buyer-led to a boyfriend in Vermont and an informal job as a woodworker’s girlfriend, helping run his wholesale business while also working at a local bookstore and becoming their card buyer.  After moving to Somerville in 1983 and participating in the annual Cambridge Christmas Store (an early pop-up!) she decided to try something of her own, and Joie de Vivre opened on Mass. Ave in 1984, where it flourished for years, though for a number of different reasons, it ended its run after 36 plus years in November 2020. Along the way, she finally made good on her parents wishes and earned a degree from Harvard at the Extension School in 2019.  Linda is a passionate advocate of small business, and brick and mortar life, and is proud to say that she can count her Amazon purchases on one hand.  She plans never to add her second hand to that total, and is honored to be part of Cambridge and Somerville’s “Shop Small” community.

Cambridge Local First