MADE BY ME GIFT SHOP
Have you recently done a double take when driving past the “MADE BY ME GIFT SHOP” sign on Tom Miller Road? And thought, wait, what is that? I’ve never seen that before. Well next time you do drive by…stop in, look around and be amazed at what the Advocacy and Resource Center has put together; a wonderful community arts partnership gift shop!
Through the ultimate Plattsburgh grapevine, we heard about the shop and stopped in to talk with Theresa Garrow, ARC Executive Director, and Jared Whiteman, a culinary employee at Westside Ballroom and an art enthusiast/customer service associate, at MADE BY ME GIFT SHOP.
Gracious, welcoming and excited, Theresa and Jared showed us around the former home turned into a lovely shop. The shop was originally purchased with the intention of turning it into a residential living facility to serve their developmentally disabled consumers, and finding that the budget wouldn’t allow for this plan…they got to brainstorming. With so many artists on staff, and so many talented clients, the idea of a local artist shop began to build and take shape.
Shopping at MADE BY ME has an art gallery feel with excellent commentary by staff about who made the art, what inspires that artist, and what materials they use.
Gifts and art range from African carvings, inspired by an artist who spent a few years doing mission work in Africa, to large weathered glass votive candle holders created from Lake Champlain beach glass. Jewelry, framed photos, oil paintings, wrought iron wine racks, stained glass lamps, knitted hats and one of a kind gifts are all displayed under serene lighting and on locally purchased furnishings.
ARC clients have amazing talent; baskets, quilts and natural bark window boxes are finely crafted and fly out the door. To add to the community partnership; Loose Threads donates much of the fabric for quilts and table runners.
The gift shop, begun in November 2012, has done extremely well, with their best advertising through word of mouth. The philosophy of MADE BY ME is to support, nurture, and showcase local artists. Driven by this philosophy, Theresa and staff are careful about having a large group of artists and craftsman on hand to add to the variety of art available for viewing and purchase. Most of the artists take special orders and the displays and products change frequently. Knowing the story behind the artist and purchasing locally are other reasons to give a gift or add to your own décor from MADE BY ME GIFT SHOP. Free gift wrapping makes it even easier!
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS: Bring a friend and stop in to browse and get acquainted with the beauty and talent of local artists, you will surely have someone come to mind who would love something from MADE BY ME. Talk to the staff there; it adds the flavor that we all desire in the shopping process. You’ll have some stories to tell about your gifts! If you are an artist, talk to Theresa (563-0930 x124) at her New York Road office about what you craft and make an appointment to show her your art!
Help sponsor the ARCs growth and development by buying tickets and attending their upcoming fund raisers; Fiddles, Vittles and Ales on March 16 which features beer tasting and Celtic music and Hot Jazz on a Cool Night in April. Having fun, buying great gifts and supporting our community are great ways to celebrate “Scene in Plattsburgh!”
NEXT WEEK’s ASK style& substance question topic: fighting fair!
Sally Meisenheimer and Michele Armani