GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — “Change” seems to be the operative word for Christie Shimaitis at The Mason Jar in Grand Rapids.
“We used to do sampling, that sort of stuff, that's all changed. Our classes have changed. We have workshops, but how those are ... are only private groups,” Shimaitis says.
But with all the change comes new ideas and expanded products and services.
“We increased our paint,” she says. “We found a lot of people just kind of were really interested in painting and doing a project.”
“We just had someone in the other day … She was having a professional painter to come and do her walls, but she was getting ready to do her kitchen table and her cabinet.”
And she has all kinds of kid kits “just to help moms out with different activities for their children while they're home.”
There’s a lot more: “We're kind of like the home of the gnome. I say that jokingly. But gnomes are super popular. I think people enjoy them. They're whimsical, they're sweet. We usually have a ton of gnome type products.” Plus activity kits for kids, paint kits, stocking stuffers, lots of gift ideas.
Beyond products and services, Shimaitis and her mother (who is her business partner) have adopted new ways for customers to get what they want. For curbside pickup, there’s a stand outside the door that’s all decorated, but “if they order something, they don't have to come in at all, they can just pick it right up on the stand outside,” says Shimaitis.
Facetime Live is another vehicle for Shimaitis to help customers stay in touch. “We always wanted to do it. But I guess in a way (the pandemic) kind of forced us to do that,” Shimaitis mused.
Further, time slot shopping is available. You can arrange to shop after hours.
Or shop virtually on the Mason Jar website.
More local gift shops: