Hot chocolate bombs and glitter beard kits might be popular nationally for the holidays, but Connecticut gift shops lean toward the more traditional.
After another challenging year in which COVID-19 continues to be an issue, people are looking for gifts of comfort and soothing more than ever, several area Connecticut gift shops are seeing. And given the lingering supply chain issues and shipping delays, many shoppers got an early start on their holiday shopping, store owners have found.
Goldenberry Gourmet Gift has seen many customers coming in eager to support small businesses as well as finding gifts for a range of people on their shopping list. Foodies especially find interest in the international fare that can be found here, no plane ticket needed.
“Our customers like a combination of unusual/unique and nostalgic seasonal goodies,” says Deb Hecht. The shop was located for years in New Canaan and then Wilton, and customers can now order online and pick up at 71 Elm Street in New Canaan.
“Many express being grateful that we have the chocolates, cakes and mince pies that make this time of year feel like Christmas and feel special,” she added.
At Seven Maples Gift & Garden in Monroe, the gift-giving options run from traditional and symbolic to fun and whimsical.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of light-up items moving this year: lanterns, globes, large ornaments, pictures and more. Gnomes are also very popular along with puzzles and bells,” said manager Kara Kubala. “In our area, cardinals are very popular so we’ve seen a lot of movement on those items as well.”
Shoreline favorite Walker Loden in Madison and New Haven has a store full of gift ideas but its alpaca store-within-a-store has been quite popular this year. Working with alpaca farmers and crafters, the shop features a variety of goods and women’s accessories made from 100 percent ethically-sourced alpaca fur, including sweaters, ponchos, wraps, throws and blankets, scarves and stuffed animals.
“We have expanded our selection and are now the largest alpaca shop on the shoreline,” said owner Peter Loden.