Marion’s Ewert family works year round making delicious home decor items for the Christmas season.
Elaine Ewert turns spindles large and small into unique Santa Claus figurines, each with an individually designed face and full beard.
Its wares – like many hometown retailers – offer holiday shoppers a chance to give a gift that can’t be found in a typical big-city store.
“All my faces are different,” she said. “I don’t do cookie-cutter designs.”
She also creates figures carved in wood.
His daughter, Amanda Ewert Dameron, is a talented graphic designer whose work is seen in the community. She makes window decals for businesses and designed a decal for the side of a local food truck.
Amanda also enjoys working on Christmas creations and markets them through the family business.
“I like doing that, it’s a way to be more creative,” Amanda said.
Hillsboro resident Jan Meisinger came to Ewert’s house last Thursday to pick up a Santa Claus brooch she had ordered.
Meisinger said it was her Christmas present for herself.
“I have a collection of them on my coat,” Meisinger said.
She puts them on her coat the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Christmas shopping doesn’t necessarily mean searching online for merchandise you hope you wanted when you ordered them.
That doesn’t necessarily mean fighting a crowd at an out-of-town big box store or hoping the item you wanted is still in stock.
It could mean going to a hometown business and letting the money flow into the local economy.
Even gift cards can be purchased from local businesses – some of these aren’t places many people would think of.
Doug Regnier, co-owner of Marion Auto Supply, said the store sells gift cards in all denominations. Maybe not a “fun” gift, it could be perfect for someone who needs car parts.
Dale’s Supermarket, 108 W. Grand Ave. in Hillsboro, is famous for its German-style sausages. The store ships it nationwide.
The sausage costs $ 4.99 a pound.
“We had a person call us from New Jersey,” Franz said. “They asked how much it was, and we told them, and they said a similar sausage costs $ 16 a pound in New Jersey.”
“We have gift cards in any denomination they want,” Franz said.
Dale’s also offers a range of local foods. They include peppery Durham nuts, Wiebe cheese, and foods from Tin Roof Pantry, Dorrie Thiessen, Barkman Honey, Grannie’s Mustard, and Roasted Menno Beans coffee at Rhubarb Market.
Another unique store in Hillsboro is Odds’ N Ends, 209 S. Main St.
The store carries a plethora of items made in Kansas.
“We have a lot of things from Kansas, like a lot of our food comes from companies in Kansas,” Delaney Lucero said.
Odds’ N Ends offers home decor, jewelry, a wide variety of bath and body items, candles, handbags, gifts, flavored teas and Watkins products as well as salsas, Bronco Bob’s raspberry sauce, pickle prep kits and mixes.
“You are bound to find something you like,” Lucero said. “We have a wide variety, from salty to sweet. “
Need something to highlight a special food? The store sells serving dishes.
“We also have a lot of baby items,” she said, “clothes and toys and stuffed animals”.
Gift certificates are available. A frequent shopper program offers $ 10 off a future purchase after acquiring 30 punch cards.
Sara Dawson, owner of Prairie Oak Designs, 501 Main St. in Florence, said prices at her store start as low as $ 6.
“We make metal items locally,” she said.
Prairie Oak offers candles, clothing, handbags, jewelry, home and Christmas decorations, and gift items.
“I can also ship items anywhere in the United States,” Dawson said.
ManeStreet Beautique, 110 N Walnut St., in Peabody, offers gift certificates for people who enjoy new styles or beauty products and an assortment of gift items, owner Linda Martinez said.