Unique and special gifts you can find right here in Nevada, Iowa

Compiled by Marlys Barker
Unique and special gifts you can find right here in Nevada, Iowa

The talk of Nevada in recent months has been the popping up of a number of what some call “junker stores,” but others prefer to call “vintage, crafty or retro” stores. Whatever you call them, the string of little shops has brought new life to Nevada’s business district, and created a wonderful and unique shopping experience for those coming to Nevada and for those living here. With a listing of the stores — some old, some new — all carrying gift-type items and located in Nevada, we set out on a journey to ask these shopkeepers what fun holiday gift idea or unique giving idea they have in their store that might make the perfect special gift for someone on a hometown shopper’s list this Christmas!

Here’s a list of ideas for a very, merry hometown Christmas this year! You may not have known these great gift ideas are hiding right here in your very own town.

1) At StuffEnufForUs, located at 1218 Sixth St., the store that offers everything from tattoos to furniture, glassware to wine, art to Magic the Gathering cards, and sports memorabilia to hand-made gifts, has a unique idea for someone on your list. This year, the store will offer Christmas baskets that each customer can create with in-store items of their choice. With items starting at $1, this can be as inexpensive or expensive a venture as the buyer wants, depending on what you want to put in your Christmas basket.

2) At Hawcott Lawn, located at 525 K Ave., the unique holiday gift is not so much one specific item, but an assortment of items used to create something that is one-of-a-kind. The store has a large assortment of unique components for crafty people and do-it-yourselfers to create a seasonal décor gift for friends and loved ones. They stock dozens of seasonal stems/picks, ornaments, ribbons and containers, so a person can come in and get the materials needed to build their own decorative pots, centerpieces, mantlepieces, etc., from the ground up. Hawcott’s also offers pre-assembled center and mantle pieces for people who want to pick something up on the go. The store also offers soy candles and wax melts, scarves, jewelry, ice melter and lawn and garden supplies.

3) At Gypsy Alley, located at 922 Lincoln Highway, shoppers will find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for the guys in their life. From tools, farm décor and collectibles to beard balm, new and vintage toys, and sports and motorsports memorabilia, Gypsy Alley has everything for the rustic or rugged men on your shopping list. Prices range from $2 on up. Gypsy Alley also offers custom creations and design work, including metal fabrication and repurposed vintage and antiques, such as a beautiful and sturdy Chevrolet Bench, created from an actual tailgate.

4) At A Little Piece of Iowa LLC (formerly The Urban Chicken), located at 937 Sixth St., one of the great finds is work by Kathy’s Kreations. She does infused glass and her items are amazing. The one shown is a winter scene, just one of many that you will find at the shop. A Little Piece of Iowa promotes handcrafted, homemade creations from Iowa! The piece shown has the uniqueness and beauty of winter. Come in and see the many other glass items and pottery items in the store, plus much, much more.

5) Krafty Contemporary, at 1105 Sixth St., was formed after founder Chad Williams was out Christmas shopping in December 2014. He saw a little birdhouse bench he knew his wife would love, but when he checked the price he got sticker shock, and he thought, “I could make that.” And he did. His wife loved it and was soon looking through Pinterest, making a list a mile long of projects for him to complete. Not long after, friends and family were asking him to build things for them, too. Krafty Contemporary is your go-to place if you have a Pinterest project you want completed, but don’t have the time, know-how or tools to do it yourself. Pictured is a set of Pinterest projects that the Williamses have made, including an ISU bench/potted plant holder, dog sign with treat and leash holder, toilet paper holder, Welcome sign with mason jar and interchangeable flowers, bird house decorative bench, weeds sign and hand-made peppermint bath salts made with real Dead Sea salt.

6) Westerwald Pottery has now arrived for the holiday gift-giving season! Visit NuCara, located at 1002 Sixth St., to see the hand-made pottery. This line of stoneware originated in Germany’s Westerwald region as early as the 16th century. Each piece is wheel-thrown, brush-decorated in hunter green and kiln-fired at 2,300 degrees. The pieces are individually decorated by hand, signed, dated for authenticity and proudly stamped with “NEVADA.” There are many styles, from flower vases, planters, wine bottle holders, salt crocks, pitchers, utensil holders, mugs, etc. They are all lead-free glazed, microwave and dishwasher safe. Come in soon to get your choice of unique pottery!

7) Winter accessories and many unique-themed framed art pieces are among the many treasures you will find at Rustiq, located at 1026 Sixth St. in Nevada. Rustiq has fingerless gloves, mittens and other seasonal accessories, plus one-of-a-kind home decor, including an array of framed Harry Potter prints for the Harry Potter enthusiast on your gift list. Rustiq also does custom furniture projects, carries a wide variety of home decor and gifts, and has a great selection of jewelry for all ages.

8) Nevada’s longtime Ben Franklin Store, located at 1038 Sixth St., always has something new up its sleeve. This year, the store has brought another fun thing in, just in time for the holidays. Over 75 different coloring books for adults, priced at $5.99, $7.99 and $9.99, are now available in the store. Adult coloring is very much the trend these days, as it is being shown to reduce stress and help your physical and mental health in other wonderful ways. Think about the adult on your Christmas list who might enjoy taking a step back in time, and then come browse the huge selection of coloring books and find something just right for them. The store also carries an assortment of colored pencils and crayons.

9) Sixth Street Salvage, located at 1104 Sixth St., has many unique gifts for the holidays and everyday living. The special items the store is featuring this Christmas season are its beautiful “ornament Christmas trees.” Each tree stands almost 2 feet tall and each is individually decorated with hand-selected ornaments. They are perfect to display anywhere, and will dress up your holiday by fitting nearly anywhere in your home or office. Sixth Street Salvage features many unique items and specializes in painted furniture, with many pieces to choose from.

This list has featured the little junker, vintage, crafty, retro stores in our town, but we know there are many other businesses that have great gift ideas to keep you shopping in your hometown this holiday season. We invite any other business in Nevada to send us a picture and small paragraph about an item in their store that might make a great gift for someone on your Christmas list. Those we receive by this coming Sunday evening will be featured in a followup. Email your Christmas gift ideas to: mbarker@nevadaiowajournal.com.