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 we visited antiques-rich Chester in Morris County.
Pocono Modern is a breath of fresh mid-century air in a town that skews very antique. Don’t get me wrong, we like antiques too but Pocono Modern surprised us with everything in their carefully curated shop. Hand-crafted items along with special vintage pieces can all fit very comfortably in nearly anyone’s home. You have to be especially careful in Chester to look down the side streets and back behind buildings because you can miss gems like this one.
Everywhere I looked in the shop, I saw gifts for different people on my list. My niece would look adorable in those little animal shirts or would love the prints in her bedroom. The vintage Pyrex calendar I almost got for myself.
Those bird pillows or little matted photos would be a cute gift for anyone on your list.
The prints of stacked up vintage Pyrex dishes are also adorable and who wouldn’t want a cow-shaped creamer for their table?
The shop has some featured artists’ signs throughout the store which tells you a little about who’s making these items. I loved that touch. Just like I love getting to know my shop-owners, I also love reading about where my gifts are coming from!
Who wouldn’t love this set of glasses?
Hand-poured candles are a sure-fire teacher’s gift! They even had beautiful sets of beeswax candles all boxed up and ready to wrap.
The town of Chester prides itself in being a throwback to a different era. This is never more evident than at Christmas when costumed carolers walk the streets and carriage rides are given on weekends.
The Black River Candy Shoppe is next door to Pocono Modern. If you long for the candy of yesteryear this is the place for you. Even the decor of wood paneling and old signs and pictures have an air of times past. There are plenty of candy gift ideas here. Pick a wide selection and make a sweet basket for someone. You could even get all your stocking stuffers here and make everyone extra happy.
Try to look at this picture and tell me you couldn’t find something for everyone. There’s even a big sugar-free section!
ImagiNations has unique items from all over the world. Custom crafts, clothing, and jewelry can be found here and would make wonderful gifts. According to their website they “work closely with the local vendors and various fair trade vendors to make sure that a “Fair” agreement is reached when purchasing the various goods.” I was so tempted to buy something for myself here as well but exercised self control. I’ll have to come back once my gifts list is all crossed off!
Pegasus Antiques has more antiques in more rooms that I could have ever imagined seeing the outside of the store! From floor to ceiling jam packed into every room were more items than your brain could register. If you have someone who is nostalgic or a collector, this is the place for you. Just when you thought you were at the end of the store, new rooms would appear like magic. Oh, and there is a downstairs area as well! Being the New Jersey lovers that we are Ed and I couldn’t help but pick a little something for ourselves: an old historic NJ license plate.
Ladyfingers has anything Vera Bradley you can dream of along with beautiful modern jewelry. If there’s at least one girl on your list, you need to come here.
The Jewelry Box was a beautiful little store with gorgeous handmade jewelry everywhere I looked. Many of the pieces were unlike any I’ve seen before. The shop owner has a great eye for jewels!
Winky’s Pet Boutique had lots of gifts for dogs and people who love dogs. All of their products are tested by their “research staff” so they are doggie approved. Anything you can pamper your pooch with can be found here from toys to pet beds to fancy fashion for your pet.
The Country Christmas Shop at Pleasant Pools has the biggest Christmas village set up in the back of their store that I’ve ever seen! This place has everything you need when it comes to Christmas supplies. Trees, lights, ornaments, advent candles. I could go on and on. And, best of all, the prices are extremely affordable!
This is just a small portion of the village set up in the back room.
The Old Factory Stained Glass Boutique was beautiful inside and out. Many items here would make a great gift for anyone who’s moved into a new house this year or are in need of decorations.
Perfect Treasure has so many gift ideas that their merchandise is also spilling out onto their porch!
Midnight Owl has an enormous selection of outdoor decorations, home decor, bath and body items and cute apparel. I saw many, many things that I added to my own wish list here!
Academy Silver Jewelry and Engraving has lots of great jewelry and two adorable doggies! The shop keepers were so friendly here that I really had to tear myself away from the store.
Boehs Cabinet Shop has great wooden toys and decor. Look at those amazing wagons!
I could go on and on about all the places to love in Chester but you’ll have to get out there and see the rest for yourself. Among the many shops there are lots of great lunch places and even El Monte Coffee Roasters who have incredible coffee and sells gift baskets of freshly roasted beans! Now, get out there and get some shopping done among friendly business owners and happy customers.
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