Westfield Newsroom

Think local when planning your holiday shopping list

WESTFIELD-The holiday season is typically a time when friends spend a day together – enjoying a special lunch gathering – and checking out local craft fairs in the search for the perfect gift for someone on their holiday shopping list.

Since local craft fairs and other popular venues will not be shopping options in the coming weeks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and artisans continue to think outside the box in the hopes that area residents will consider checking out local opportunities for unique gift ideas. Those opportunities can range from shops that dot the landscape to social media platforms including “Westfield Small Biz Saturday” postings on the We Love Westfield Community Forum Facebook page.

Andrea Bruno, owner of the Blended Vintage Marketplace on Elm Street, is among several business owners who are all-in on highlighting the work of local artists in addition to her own creations.

Bruno noted in a recent blog that her “little shop” that features artisans with differing interests and creations has been her “happy place” since 2016.

“When I look back it’s hard to believe how much the shop has evolved,” said Bruno, noting after the pandemic “swept through,” she was closed for almost three months. During the time she was shut down, she focused on her art which includes blended painted furniture.

“The shop has grown with new products like clothing, jewelry, organic facial products and shoes,” said Bruno. “Things in the shop are things that make me happy and that make me smile, and I hope it does the same for those who walk through its doors.”

Art classes are also another outlet that Bruno is expanding on in small groups due to pandemic concerns. The classes offer area residents the chance to also experiment with their own artistic talents. A “Vintage Truck with Lit Tree” paint party is slated Nov. 12 at 6 p.m., and an “Old Fashion Christmas Tree with Lights” paint party is slated Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. For more details on all classes, visit the Blended Vintage Marketplace website.

Two fun paint parties are slated at Blended Vintage Marketplace this month – including an old fashion Christmas tree with lights and a vintage truck with lights. (ANDREA BRUNO PHOTO)

For Lucille Nason of Westfield, she is currently selling her works at the Blended Vintage Marketplace. She said she uses a variety of mixed media elements to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

“When you are an artist you always need to think outside the box,” said Nason. “I have sold my art at hospitals, remember they have a lot of wall space to fill. Also places like airports will showcase different artists. Never be afraid to ask any business if you think your art will be beneficial to the both parties.”

Nason added that when artists creates art, “We show a part of our soul to the world.”

Bruno concurred.

“Having a storefront allows me to share what beautiful work is being created by artists,” said Bruno. “If you are in a position to help someone, it is your responsibility to do so.”

Another unique setting for artistic gifts in the city is Results In Wellness, LLC, at 93 Springfield Road.

“Our center offers a safe place which includes our health services, community workshops, healing with art programs, and retail space that focuses on health and wellness,” said Taylor Martinez, general manager.

Martinez noted that all items in the retail space are heart centered and range from vision boards, wall art, and cheese boards to greeting cards, yoga mats and coffee mugs.

Results In Wellness, LLC general manager Taylor Martinez encourages area residents to check out the unique gift ideas in the retail space. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

“A person that matches well with our center and our ethics, we always invite them to showcase their work in here,” said Martinez.

Sarah Nuttall and Richard Ponti-Smith, owners of Current Decor in Westfield, have found outlets for their unique work including at Results In Wellness.

“They are fantastic to work with,” said Nuttall of Results In Wellness. “They actually found us at the PumpkinFest last year.”

Nuttall explained their pieces are upcycled from broken furniture or scrap wood except for coasters and the flag that is a collaboration with Gina King of Southwick.

Nuttall added what makes their wood pieces unique is through the process of fractal burning and some “good old fashioned TLC.” 

Their best sellers range from backerboard coasters, bottle openers and food grade serving trays, to wall mounted key hooks, coat racks and clocks.

“We also enjoy working on bigger projects and special order items,” said Nuttall, adding, “feel free to reach out if you have any pieces of furniture you are interested in ‘re-amping.’”

For Bruno and Martinez, they hope area residents will consider dropping by to check out all of the offerings at their respective businesses that showcase the scope and talent of local artisans.

“We have tons of gifts, many pre-packaged and beautifully wrapped,” said Martinez.

Bruno shared a similar sentiment about a comment her mother made to her recently, noting how much the store has evolved over the past few months.

“My mother said the store looks like a boutique now,” said Bruno. “I don’t think I had thought about that or even noticed the changes until she mentioned it to me. And I can’t wait to see what happens next!”

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