Old Village Shop offers unique, made in USA items
The Old Village Gift Shop at Sanibel Historical Museum & Village offers unique, made in the U.S.A. items — with the exception of two items, whicker palm fans made in the Philippines and tote bags made in China.
“We really benefit from made in the U.S. items because of the direct contact with the vendors,” said Paula Newton, gift shop manager. “I have formed relationships and come to be on a first-name basis with most of them.”
Located in the original Bailey’s General Store, the gift shop features and array of exclusive offerings including miniature Sailor’s Valentines designed by Texas artists Rose and Jim Prestigiacomo, Sanibel Lighthouse ornaments by island artist Luc Century, handmade bonnets by a Pennsylvania company, Florida pine needle baskets by Gisela Damandi, a part-time Naples resident, and handmade mix-and-match aprons for mom, daughter and an American Girl doll by an Indiana native.
“When you look at these items, you know someone somewhere in the U.S. is working,” said Newton.
Books that can be found on the shelves of the gift shop are Sandpiles by mother and son Zack and E.M. Corsa from the Carolinas, coloring books printed by Dover Publications based in New York, books by Marya Repko of Everglades City and Jeri Magg of Sanibel, as well as postcards featuring island photographs from the Sanibel Public Library archives. There is also the video “Sandbars to Sanibel” by island filmmaker Rusty Farst available for purchase.
“We are the only people to carry most of these items in the area,” said Newton. “And we are very proud to carry American-made items with a close history to the islands.”
In addition, guests can find Sanibel shell wreaths and sea urchin ornaments made by Barbara Walling, who received several ribbons at last year’s Sanibel Shell Fair. Through December, Walling’s shell flowers are featured at the Sanibel Public Library, 770 Dunlop Rd.
“We have some real treasures in our gift shop,” added Newton.
Anyone who wishes to only browse The Old Village Gift Shop at the Sanibel Historical Museum can do so without paying the $5 entrance fee. The gift shop is open from from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village was founded in 1984 with a mission to preserve and share Sanibel history. The story of Sanibel is told from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s. Seven historic buildings were moved from their original island sites to the historical village and restored to its original state. Volunteer docents share the stories of Sanibel with nearly 10,000 visitors each year.