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JANUARY  2 0 1 1

t a b l e  o f  c o n t e n t s

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Metal stars with a country sensibility for sale at the Shady Maple Gift Shop. These home décor items are designed by Freeform Designs of Goshen, Ohio, and manufactured overseas. American-made merchandise is becoming harder to find, a store manager said, and consumers are in turn buying more based on price and style.
n this hi-tech age, we find ourselves consumed with products such as smart phones and other sophisticated gadgets. For some, it is a nice change of pace to take a step back in time by exploring flavorful jams, table linens, rustic furniture, candles and the other old-world merchandise available at country stores.

Most owners and retail buyers of country stores say that giftware trends vary depending on location, as they are more focused on their own clientele and the local trends. Steve Mayfield, owner of Shelburne Country Store in Shelburne, Vt., said that recycled glass pitchers from Mexico are the latest trend in his area. “The recycled glass pitchers are heavy with a craftsman feel, but have bright, colorful patterns. Patchwork patterns for anything kitchen-related are also trendy, such as oven mitts and aprons,” said Mayfield. “Also, braided rugs, trivets, coasters and placemats sell very well.”

Mayfield also noted that, looking into the future of country giftware, people continue to seek out those items that have old-world appeal. “They want a teaspoon that looks like the one grandma used to use, rather than a novel one. Taper candles and classic-style aprons sell better than jar candles or halter aprons. They want authentic pieces that have country charm,” Mayfield said.


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