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Shop owner Colleen Anderson and her best friend, Karen Johnson, recently embarked on an endeavor creating a brand new gem of a business within our community. Gifts of Grace, located at 102 Chautauqua Ave. in the village of Lakewood, what is also known as Lakewood’s “four corners,” held its grand opening on Saturday June 1st of this year.
“I am a retired nurse, and I just decided I wanted to do something totally different. I had always wanted to open a gift shop, so I teamed up with my good friend since 7th grade, Karen, who is familiar working in retail, and we made it happen,” says Anderson.
With a passion for creating a comforting and homey atmosphere within the community, every smallest detail was pertinent and of utmost importance for Anderson. “We want it to feel warm and welcoming here, a place where people always enjoy coming into. Everything is important to us, from aiming to have and maintain the best customer service you can get, to the selection of gifts we sell, even down to the color of the walls.”
Gifts of Grace displays and sells work created by several artists around the area, many of which hold special meaning. “We want to sell unique items you can’t find at bigger chain stores.” They are currently featuring four local artists, and plan to grow in that area as a way to build up and support the small businesses and artists around us.
It is no question that Anderson and Johnson have created an inspiring and surely impactful addition to our area, not only with their business, but with who they are as individuals. They have become driven to spread as much light and positivity as they can with everyone they come across. “It’s very important to us that we can send some kind of a message every day to anyone who walks in. To be kind, to be caring, and to let anyone we meet know that they are important. Not just as customers, but as people. If that’s all we do during our day, we’ve done something. That’s our number one priority.”
There are a few happy changes in discussion that Anderson chose to keep secret for the time being, however she did speak a bit about some other upcoming progressions within their business. “Looking to the future, we do have additions in the works. Our summer to winter hours may change, but we will be open year-round. We will be adding seasonal gifts, alongside our every day gift selections. In another year or so, I would also love to expand. Ultimately, we just want to be here for as long as we can, and continue growing in that time.”
Shop hours are from 10am-6pm Monday through Saturday. To contact them, stop in, or call (716) 526-1018. For more information, visit their Facebook page at: www.Facebook.com/GiftsofGrace102