It was her dream to open a small shop since she was 15.
Working at Stoughton’s Catfish River Arts and Antiques, Cire’ Cross became fascinated with the store’s handmade and vintage objects, inspiring her to one day start a shop of her own. Last November, that dream was realized just several yards from where it began.
Cire’ (pronounced sir-REE) started Dune Gift and Home with her husband Mike by renovating and renting a space from her in-laws at 155 W. Main St., celebrating a grand opening Nov. 16. Coincidentally, the location is opposite the building that formerly housed Catfish River Arts and Antiques, now the Chorus Public House.
With the business, Cross hoped to “give something back to Stoughton in the form of a new shop that specializes in makers, like handmade things from the United States and Canada, mixed with a specific aesthetic of vintage.”
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Wednesday through Saturday, the shop offers a comprehensive variety of hand-crafted gifts and home decor pieces. Dune Gift and Home also holds “pop ups” once a month for artists whose works are not carried by the store, allowing them to take over a part of the shop for a few days.
It’s a market of unique goods, where patrons can be “conscious of who you buy from, where your money goes,” Cross said.
A natural progression
The shop also serves as a space for Cross to display her jewelry. Since 2011, she has created jewelry for her brand Cire’ Alexandria, finding success with local support. With this experience, Cross “thought (starting a shop) was the next natural progression in being a small business owner.”
When looking to relocate her jewelry studio to Stoughton, Cross found a unique solution for accommodating her two enterprises. With her in-laws buying a property on Main Street, Cross recalled them telling her, “why don’t you rent the full first floor and have your shop and your studio?”
Cross’s metalsmithing studio now conveniently shares the first floor with her dream shop. The store also doesn’t have a phone, with the Crosses instead focusing on social media to connect with the shop’s “image-based” patrons, she said.
Customers visiting the shop will find either Cire’ or Mike behind the front desk. As the driving force behind Dune Gift and Home, Cire’ takes most shifts, with Mike working the desk in relief when she stays home with their 1-year-old daughter Elsie.
Handmade and vintage
As evidenced by its name, Dune Gift and Home features many small gift ideas such as candles, bath salts, ceramics and of course, jewelry. A degree in interior design informs Cross’s larger home decor selections for the store, including macrame wall hangings and handwoven chairs.
By incorporating the efforts of small North American makers, Cire’ Cross’s dream shop sustains the dreams of others whose work can be described as uniquely handmade, vintage or both.
According to the shop’s website, “When you search for an item that has had a past life, or one that a local artisan created by hand, you ensure that you’re giving a gift that is unlike anything that your friend or family member already owns.”