SAUGATUCK, Mich. — “We hear it over and over and over again. What a fun store. What a fun store.”
Patti Beery, co-owner of It Is What It Is in Saugatuck, stands in the middle of an amazing collection.
You might find hand-made items, some made locally, or you might find items that feed your love of “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” or some other show your family has found binge-worthy these pandemic days.
“The majority of our things are under $25,” Patti notes. “Sometimes people think that shopping local means spending more money, and it doesn't. It just means more the money that you're spending stays local.”
And local residents have discovered It Is What It Is, which is fortunate because the pandemic has changed doing business in Saugatuck. Tourists “would come and eat and drink and go shopping and have fun,” Patti says. “We are seeing more locals this year than we ever have. We're kind of a hidden gem; a lot of local people just didn't know that we had such a big variety of fun, affordable, and unique things.”
But while the customers are a little different, operations of a store like It Is What It Is have had to change, too. “We really had to adjust on the fly,” says Clayton Beery, Patti’s son. That included building up a website so people could find them online, which means doing more shipping to customers all over the country. Plus, they are now offering curbside pickup and delivery to locations within 15 miles.
What’s popular at Is It What It Is?
“We have a lady that makes funny hats,” says Patti. “We've got one that looks like a plunger, which is so appropriate for this year. But the unicorn hats are also popular item.”
“And then our local authors, our books. We have a whole Saugatuck murders mystery series. And those are wildly popular.”
Here’s what else you’ll find in Saugatuck:
- The Pink Patio: 133 Mason St., Saugatuck
- Santa Fe Trading Co.: 325 Butler St., Saugatuck
- Bright World Candle Co.: 233 Culver St., Saugatuck, Mi 49453