If you are looking for a unique place to shop for Christmas gifts this season, look no further than One of a Kind gifts, located in the strip mall next to Barnes & Noble, conveniently next to the Cherryvale Mall in Rockford, IL.
Judy Johnson & Mari Goral are co owners of this charming little shop, which opened in April 2012 at its current location. Previously, Judy Johnson ran her shop out of her home for 14 years as Country Club Gifts in Belvidere before joining Mari as co owner at One of a Kind.
Judy has been making unique and wonderfully scented candles, soaps, warming tarts and lotions for years, as well as other Christmas crafts that are for sale currently. The soaps are so aromatic and so pretty, you almost don’t want to use them. There are tons of scents of candles, too, ensuring you will find your favorite. Each year she holds an Open House for a few days starting on Black Friday, which I personally have attended every year for about six years. Family members of mine from Plainfield (85 miles away!) are so impressed with Judy and her products that they make the trip year after year.
Now that the Open House is going to be held at One of a Kind, with not only Judy’s and Mari’s wares for sale but also those of several other talented vendors, it will be an even bigger hit with not only my family but many, many folks from Rockford, Cherry Valley, and the surrounding area.
Mari and Libby Goral make adorable tie dye items…in fact, last year for Christmas my niece Ashlynn received tiny infant booties and a tie dye onesie that I bought them at a Christmas craft show. Trust me, her mother loved them! There are many little outfits and accessories that are colorful and will surely be a big hit as Christmas gifts.
Space is rented in their shop by several talented crafters from around the area who each have their little spot in the store. There is beautifully crafted jewelry from Sandy Nolan (Busy Beads), Embellished Accents (jeweled accents on silver serving pieces and frames) from Andrea Farone, and endearing little fairies and mermaids by Sherry Johnson (Sherry’s Fairies & Mermaids). There is a table with “slumped bottles”, which are bottles that have been skillfully melted into eye catching shapes in beautiful colors (made by Linda Kleczkowski). On that same table are necklace slides, all very distinctive and pretty, made by Linda’s daughter, Danielle Gustafson (who, incidentally, is the pastry chef at Octane. Who knew?). Talent runs in the family.
Judy was at the shop tonight while I took pictures, and indicated that there are always new items coming in because there are always new vendors with new and different things. She said they have removed a couple of counters in the space they’re in to make room for even more items to sell.
Other “one of a kind” items you’ll see in One of a Kind include cleverly made doll clothes, classy scarves with interesting beading and accents, and diaper cakes. There’s also an artist who makes feathery items such as earrings and pins. They’re very colorful and in style right now. There are homemade cards, crosses, and bibs, and even fishing lures that have been fashioned into flash drives.
Although they will be closed tomorrow to observe Thanksgiving, the shop will be opening on Black Friday for their Open House from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. .
Judy also told me that if you spend $50 in one shopping trip, you qualify for a chance to win a basket chock full of exciting items from their store. If you spend $25 in one shopping trip, you get to give a twist to the gumball machine, and if you get a purple gumball, you win a $5 gift card from One of a Kind.
All those crafts, and gum too! See you there!
**more pictures available at my blog, The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley. Come see them!