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Go-to gifts for the holidays

When you shop local for holiday gifts, those gifts offer more than just a wrapped present. They offer sustainability to local merchants. Kevin Coolidge, owner of From My Shelf Books and Gifts in Wellsboro, says it best, “Of course it is important for people to shop local through the holidays for all the various reasons: local businesses pay local taxes, supply local jobs and keep the local economy going by keeping storefronts from being empty,” Coolidge said. “But there are other reasons. Local business means less environmental impact because there is less packaging and gas used to transport goods.”

So take a break from online shopping at mega-companies and big box stores and see what treasures you can find throughout north central Pennsylvania. Two great gift giving tips are to fill a basket with local goodies or visit the many local retailers’ online shops.

LYCOMING COUNTY

Patinaz in Williamsport is a trendy boutique that is home to Jules Artwear and Simply Sterling Designs, as well as, the work of more than 50 different Pennsylvania artisans. The store features jewelry, clothing, bags, pottery, artwork, soaps and more. Store owner Suzette Mason says Patinaz recently celebrated 10 years in business. “We wouldn’t be here without the support of our many loyal customers who have shopped with us since day one,” Mason says. “We call them our Patinaz peepz and we have a loyalty card shopping program with just that name.”

Mason says the store’s best-selling items are handcrafted jewelry: Jules Artwear made by Jule Hanford and Simply Sterling Designs made by Mason. The boutique also sells a beautiful array of clothing and bags. “We are excited to be able to bring boutique clothing brands to Williamsport and our wristlets that can also be worn as a crossbody style just fly out the door,” Mason says.

Patinaz will host a Christmas Open House November 19 and 20, along with a special Silver and Gold December First Friday. Mason encourages residents to check out the store’s holiday decorations. “We love putting together the shop windows and you will find the original sleigh from L.L. Stearns hung as part of our window display,” she says.

If you’re looking for a gift that’s custom crafted for that special someone in your life, check out Marc Williams Goldsmith in Williamsport. Owner Marc Williams has been a custom jeweler for 43 years creating handcrafted gold and sterling silver jewelry with precious and semiprecious stones.

While the store sells American-crafted hand-blown glass items and handmade pottery, the most popular items by far are the jewelry from the custom and line pieces. According to Williams, “We are a top 100 gallery and have been for years,” Williams says. “Many of our customers have found us on the internet but we also have a large local following.”

A few miles away, you can find boutique clothing and farmhouse decor at The Robin’s Nest Collectibles in Montoursville. Store co-owner Alexandra Warren says the business opened in September 2019 and quickly became a favorite among local residents. “During Christmastime, one of our special items we feature is the Belsnickel. Last year, I told the story about why we carry them in the store and they really took off,” Warren says.

Belsnickel is a crotchety, fur-clad Christmas gift-bringer figure preserved in Pennsylvania Dutch communities. “My mother would gift my siblings and I one every year.” Warren says.

“Each year the company that makes them comes out with a new one. So we thought it would be very fitting to share this tradition with our fellow shoppers, who loved this idea and have started doing this.”

More Shopping in

Lycoming County:

Rust and Shine, located at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, features treasures around every corner. With more than 12,000 square feet of shopping, there are over 60 local vendors.

• White Knights Game Room in Williamsport is the area’s largest provider of tabletop games, Magic: The Gathering cards, dice and war games. The store also carries owner Erik Guthrie’s Erik’s Edibles Gourmet Foods – hand-crafted pickles, peppers, canned vegetables and more.

• Otto Bookstore in Williamsport is the oldest independent bookstore in the United States.

• Rick Mahonski Goldsmith in South Williamsport is known for Penn State University designs. The jewelry store is the only licensed Penn State jewelry designer.

• Avu Goldsmiths in Williamsport offers hand-crafted jewelry and special finds featuring American-made and fair-trade artisans.

• Little Jets Boutique in Williamsport sells quality boutique-brand clothing, accessories, locally made items and specialty toys.

• Miles Welby Candle Co. in Williamsport is owned by Tyler Spooner, who recently opened the downtown storefront to sell his popular, handcrafted soy candles.

• The Clothier is Williamsport’s premier clothing store (and family owned) for formal and informal yet trendy apparel, from suits, slacks, sportwear, shoes, ties, belts and much more.

Gustonian Gifts in Williamsport was started by a mother-daughter duo. The store features unique products from more than 80 local and U.S. artisans, such as jewelry, art, pottery, cards, and more.

• JL Winters Jewelers in Muncy is a family-owned jewelry store with the largest collection of diamonds in the region and can custom-design rings with customers.

• Le Chocolat and Lang’s Chocolates, both in Williamsport, offer sweet somethings for stuffing stockings or gifts for hosts.

• Tria Prima Tea Company in Williamsport is a tea shop featuring organic house-blended teas, organic loose-leaf teas, medicinal herbs, tea accessories and vegan and gluten-free bakery treats.

• The Clothier is a premier formal and informal clothing

Alabaster Coffee in Williamsport is a family owned, nationally award-winning coffee bar and roasterie.

• Martina Guerra Goldsmith, 1102 Allegheny St., Jersey Shore.

• Backhouse Cafe, 901 W. 4th St., Williamsport

• Kinley Jewelers, 131 W. 4th St., Williamsport

• C.A. Shire Jewelers, 456 River Ave., Williamsport

• Galina’s Boutique, 40 W. 4th St., Williamsport

• Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. 4th St., Williamsport,

• Plankenhorn Stationary, 144 W. 4th St., Williamsport

• Harder Sporting Goods, 2098 Lycoming Creek Road, Williamsport

• Enchanted Christmasland, 170 Pine St., Williamsport

• Nik’s Goldworks, 1140 Hancock St., Williamsport

• Willard’s Saddlery, 825 Westminster Drive, Williamsport

UNION COUNTY

Lewisburg resident Tara McKinney says she enjoys shopping for holiday gifts at Street of Shops in Lewisburg. Located in a historic woolen mill, this 375-shop mall creates an indoor, old town streetscape complete with a recreated antique bank teller window, park benches and vintage street lights. There is also a large indoor flea market on the lower level.

“There I find one-of-a-kind antiques, vinyl records, vintage items and jewelry,” McKinney says. “My college-age middle child collects clowns so the Street of Shops is the perfect place to shop for collectors of retro finds or quirky tastes.”

More shopping in

Union County:

• Farmhouse Fancy in Lewisburg sells chic, country-inspired home décor, candles, baskets, mirrors, vases, decorative signs, throw pillows and blankets.

• Dwellings Boutique in Lewisburg has an urban mix of fashionable apparel with a wide selection of jewelry, pottery, stationery, and personal accessories.

• Mercantile in Lewisburg has been a favorite for locals, Bucknell University students and visitors since 1981 with its variety of fun, fresh, and functional products.

• The Tarry Shop in Milton is a new store with curated antiques, art, decor, gifts, used books and Milton memorabilia.

• Pompeii Street Soap Co. and Aromatherapy in Mifflinburg handcrafts natural artisan soaps and body care products and certified organic essential oils.

• Country Cupboard in Lewisburg opened in 1973 as a small restaurant, farmer’s market and gift shop and has since expanded its food and gift items over the years.

• Retrah, 424 Market St., Lewisburg

TIOGA COUNTY

Coolidge says that My Shelf Books and Gifts is an independent bookstore that has been in business for 15 years and is busy during the holidays.

Coolidge loves that people remember to shop the bookstore during the holidays but stresses they should also shop local all year round. “Local businesses are here everyday and that’s important, too,” Coolidge says.

“We are here for the good times and the bad.”

More shopping in

Tioga County:

• Dunham’s Department Store in Wellsboro is one the last remaining family-owned and operated independent department stores of its kind in the nation, taking up 35,000 square feet.

• Enchanted Hollow in Wellsboro is one of the area’s first mind, body and spirit shops for the sacred and healing arts.

• Shabby Rue in Wellsboro focuses on fashion with a twist, featuring unique apparel, accessories and more.

• Wild Asaph Outfitters in Wellsboro is a specialty store that offers quality equipment and apparel for outdoor adventures.

SULLIVAN COUNTY

At Katie’s Country Store in Muncy Valley, it is Christmas every day in their Christmas rooms that are open year round .

In addition, the store offers an eclectic mix of unique gifts, home décor, candles, Polish pottery, greeting cards, stationery, cookbooks, locally made items, specialty jams, salsas, mustards and books in an old-fashioned, country store atmosphere.

More shopping in

Sullivan County:

• Jolly Trolley, 101 W. Main St., Dushore, features an authentic restoration of an old Dushore landmark into a trolley car of the early 20th century. The variety store sells health and beauty aids, candy, toys, stationary, silk flowers, fabrics, crafts, and more.

• Kelly’s Koop, South 11436 PA 87, Dushore, features rustic merchandise, crafts, and antiques.

CLINTON COUNTY

•It Is What It Is in Lock Haven is a gift shop and boutique featuring artisan works, specialty foods and gifts for all occasions.

• The Bus Stops Here in Lock Haven offers carefully chosen teaching supplies, toys and games.

• Momoyo Otsu in Lock Haven sells unique clothing for all sizes, along with professional to casual attire, handbags, belts, scarves, jewelry and more.

• Since1958, Addie’s Inc. in Lock Haven has been selling gifts and jewelry and offers local delivery and free gift wrapping.

More shopping in

Clinton County:

• Unkel Joe’s Woodshed, 536 High St., Flemington

• Kauffman’s, 22 Meadow Lane, Loganton

• Skeleton Key Boutique, 19 E. Main St., Lock Haven

• Natalie’s Crafts & Collectibles, 3216 Woodward Ave., Avis

• Sand Piper Designs, 100 E. Main St., Lock Haven

• Embellish, 131 E. Main St., Lock Haven

• Emma’s Primitives, 8 Bellefonte Ave., Lock Haven

• Up the Crick, 5099 N. Route 44 Highway, Jersey Shore

• Mt. View Pharmacy, 144 Fourth St., Renovo

• Pushing Posies, 148 12th St., Renovo

• Mother Daughter Primitives, 1278 E. Valley Road, Loganton

The above list is not exhaustive and serves as a jumping off point to exploring local shops that sell gifts for hunters to homemakers and even for that one person who has everything.

Grab some hot chocolate and a comfy coat and head out to our local and area merchants this holiday season for an experience that just might become a new holiday tradition.

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