We’ve been doing all our holiday shopping at locally-owned businesses for three years now and I have never enjoyed shopping like I have since we started this quest. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy buying gifts again if you head out to some of the areas we’ve covered before and towns we’re visiting this year, too. This week our destination was Frenchtown in Hunterdon County. Frenchtown’s mix of restaurants, antique shops, art galleries and contemporary gift shops amid the charm of a town that dates back to 1757 sets the perfect scene for a fun day of relaxed shopping and dining among friendly faces.
Our parking spot brought us to our first find of the day. Frenchtown Dry Goods is a unique shop that caters to men’s products. It’s a great place to find gifts for all those hard-to-buy-for men.
Among hiking sticks and flannel shirts, you can also find cool trouser socks, scented candles that smell like campfires and pizza, unique wallets, shaving kits and wood-handled toothbrushes.
Men who are looking for soap that isn’t too feminine-smelling might like Fire in the Hole or Hair of the Dog scents from Outlaw Soaps. There are so many gift ideas in this store that you just have to get there and see it all.
Right down the street was our next big find: Out of Hand Group’s pop-up store. A few times a year a group of artists called the Out of Hand Group pick a location to open a pop-up store and sell their collective wares. We LOVE this idea and we also loved all the art we found here.
Look at all these New Jersey wall hangings. You know we love anything Jersey!
These textiles are all made from recycled fabrics like saris. They’re so beautiful and eco-friendly!
Everything in this pop-up store is so amazing. You can support small business while helping out local artists. Perfect! This pop-up store location is open daily from 11-6 until January 8th. Even if you go after the holidays are over, you should go check out this cool idea for a shop.
Keep going around the corner and you’ll find even more great shops. Our next featured one is Designs for Tranquility.
Owner Jill Paul was ready to tell us all about each piece of art we liked and we liked a LOT of the items in her large shop!
We especially liked the mixed media pieces that incorporated metal and painting.
Everything in the store is specially selected to promote tranquility and we can attest to the tranquil atmosphere throughout the shop.
Even this colorful corner was peaceful and reminiscent of the shore and summer breezes.
Modern Love is a store that we almost didn’t want to go in because we saw lots of things that we wanted for ourselves. We’re finding that it’s very hard to shop for others and not find things that would be great for yourself!
Of course, we had to go in and we restrained ourselves from buying for our own house. But, if anyone’s reading this and wondering what we liked… look at these gorgeous framed birds.
We bought some kids items here and were tempted to buy a lot more. Everything in their children’s section was thoughtful and modern. Those horse and rocket lunch boxes are too cute and the stuffed owls would go perfectly in my niece’s bedroom.
If you are looking for gifts for someone whose tastes run toward the mid-century modern, this is the perfect store for you. We know it’s the perfect store for us!
There are so many other shops along Race and Bridge Streets that we couldn’t possibly cover them all. Here are a few more that caught our shopping eye. River Gypsy is a women’s clothing store that has great gift ideas for the ladies on your list.
The Spinnery has gifts for the crafter in your life. They carry products for weaving, spinning, knitting, dyeing, basketry and felting. Sound like anyone you know?
The Book Garden has all kinds of books and will special order anything you’re looking for.
Sunbeam Toys picks special items like wind-up tin toys, children’s books, awesome science toys and tons of dolls and stuffed animals.
Yellow Dog Pet Supply has anything for dogs and dog lovers.
Left Bank Home has amazing home decor for people on your list.
Cycle Corner of Frenchtown not only sells bikes for gifts, they also rent bikes so you can ride the trails that go up and down the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sides of the Delaware River. Of course, you probably won’t be doing that anytime soon. They have some neat vintage bikes on display, too.
As you can see, Frenchtown has more than enough shops to get all the rest of your gift shopping done and you’ll have a great time doing it, too! Why bother heading over to the crowded malls and hate yourself afterward? Shop Local, NJ!
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