By Kimberley Merritt
Christmas time is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but that list of people to buy for is challenging me to stay on budget, and to find unique gifts that will be useful to each person on my list. Some of the best places to check for great gifts is right here in our own backyard. The small businesses in Fredericksburg carry many unique items that could be meaningful to my friends and family. With the gift giving season underway, we’ve decided to run a series about shopping small in Fredericksburg. Each week until Christmas I’ll visit a few shops, and share what I find with our readers.
Irish Eyes, 725 Caroline St
Recently, I stopped by a few stores to sample their wares. First on my shopping trip was Irish Eyes. When you walk into the store you’ll notice the music genre is suited to the character of the store, it’s a nice touch. The first thing I saw was a beautiful tray of Irish Claddagh rings. As I made my way through the store, they fashioned the rest of their jewelry options with unique pieces by a handful of artisans. Other items I found in the store included a broad selection of clothing for him (including kilts) and her, even some options for baby. They offer plenty of thick, warm sweaters, ponchos, and other wintry weather gear, along with sturdy and attractive bags and purses. When I made my way back towards the front of the store, I saw that they also have some interesting options for food in the way of snacks that you won’t find from local grocers, and cans of the traditional haggis dish. The work of the store goes beyond the items you see in the store, however. They can help with travel to Ireland and Great Britain. They can also help with name research, heraldry information, and insignia.
The Made in Virginia Store, 920 Caroline St
This might be one of the most unique stores in downtown Fredericksburg. It’s one of the places where you could go several times and always find something you hadn’t noticed the last time you were there. The store is filled with treasures from yesterday. The selection of good ranges from porcelain dolls, to a pin ball machine, to kitchen wares, including classic place settings, and durable cooking supplies like Pyrex bakeware. I have a friend who searches high and low for these specialty items. A gift that includes them, or gives her a gift certificate to somewhere that carries them would surely put a lasting smile on her face. This store is perfect for finding and rehoming collectibles, stylish, and practical items that still have lots of life left in them. Be sure to put this location on your list of small businesses to shop this holiday season.
Magic Bullet Records and Skateboards, 604 Caroline St
This specialty store focuses on everything you’ll need to skateboard. –Or everything one of the people you’re buying for will need to skateboard. They’ve got the proper apparel, from shoes, to jackets. They have skateboard art on the wall that can be added to the board, or the deck. They can custom make skateboard art if your taste calls for something in particular. When it comes to the practical needs of a skateboarder, they’ve got the everything from the board/deck, to wheels, to the “truck,” and all the pieces that make it all work together. They also offer vinyl records. If you’ve got a skateboarder or a vinyl enthusiast on your list of people to buy for check out this shop. They also stay open late.
So far, I’ve been able to visit some interesting and unique places. I’m excited to continue exploring, and to share what I find with you. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned next week to see where I’ll go next!