In all of my 22 years of living three miles outside of Narrowsburg I must humbly confess that I had never stepped foot inside the Delaware Valley Art Alliance’s Signature Gifts shop on Main Street. Recently, when I paid them a visit, I saw what a fool I had been.
The gift shop is filled with books, furniture, toys and more, all made by local artists and community members. There’s the amazing wooden table by Walter Stevens of Eldred and the pottery by Milanville resident Ed Nocera. It was a veritable who’s who of our flourishing local arts community, comprised of little towns from both sides of the river. As Alice Ross, who volunteers at the shop, said, “It’s where you meet your neighbors.”
Now that the holiday season has begun, Signature Gifts has opened the store to accommodate more local artisans. On November 10, the store began its Valley Artists Holiday Sale. Both the shop and the Loft Gallery above it are stocked full with handcrafted works by nearly 100 artists and artisans. The sale will run until December 22 and the shop is open on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As I wandered through the shop, being especially careful not to break anything, I was pleased to find many options for children. Kids will love the harmonicas, wood toys, kazoos, coloring books and clay, along with stickers, yo-yos, and other great stocking stuffers. My favorites were the set of handmade pastels by Diane Townsend of Milanville and a wooden dinosaur piggy bank.
I asked Ross why people should buy local as opposed to, say, going to Wal-mart for holiday gifts. Her answer, “It’s more fun!” In addition, it supports the local economy, it saves you gas money by not having to travel far and you support the local community and the arts. Who wouldn’t want that? The gifts are handcrafted and one-of-a-kind, not something mass-produced that everyone will have.
Have I said local enough yet? I’ll say it one more time—for local, and signature gifts, check out Signature Gifts at 37 Main Street, Narrowsburg.