If you are looking for a place where you can buy a gift for nearly everyone in your family, The Gift Enclosure in Downtown Chambersburg is the place for you.
Kara Taylor, the current owner of The Gift Enclosure, has owned and operated the shop for eight years. Taylor mentioned that The Gift Enclosure has been in Downtown Chambersburg since 1983
Before she bought The Gift Enclosure, Taylor was a social worker for several years after graduating from Shippensburg University. Her first job, however, was at a gift shop that she worked at part time through college. It was there that Taylor found her love of working in retail.
Taylor commented, “I just fell in love with retail, but also small, independently owned gift shop, boutique-y, retail stuff. It was just something I always felt passionate about and something I’ve always wanted to do. I always knew in the back of my mind that owning my own shop was what I wanted to do long term, and an opportunity presented itself eventually.”
While working in social work, Taylor started working part time at The Gift Enclosure, and after getting to know the previous owner, she found out the owner was looking to sell.
Taylor said, “It all aligned and came together.”
The Gift Enclosure has items for everyone. From things like Vera Bradley, toys, stickers, decorative items for your home, teas, scarfs, and much more, one can find a gift for almost everyone in their family.
Taylor mentioned, “We do a little bit of everything here. I like to think of this as a sort of traditional gift shop in the since of there’s a little bit of something for almost everybody in here, and we’re always looking for new and unique gifts.”
As for being in Downtown Chambersburg, Taylor loves the sense of community. She said, “Everyday when I come downtown, it’s great to see the regulars, chat with the next-door neighbors, and things like that. The business owners community between us is very supportive of each other. Also, with our regulars that come in frequently, they have been really supportive, especially through the difficulties of this last year or so. We also love when we get to tell new people coming in about the shops we have down here.”
Taylor mentioned that The Gift Enclosure gets a few students from Wilson and Shippensburg. She commented that she loves it when students go into the shop and that she wished more would come in.
“Sometimes it can be difficult with some of our hours, but we definitely get some students in here. We love it when they come to visit, and when they bring their families that can come to town,” said Taylor.
Due to Covid, Taylor had to get creative about how to stay afloat. While being shut down for two and a half months, Taylor had a tough time emotionally while trying to process the closure and dealing with the pandemic on a personal level. She started focusing her energy on ways to improve The Gift Enclosure’s website and ways on making sure people felt safe while shopping.
Taylor commented, “We have shifted more to getting more things available to look at or even purchase online. We also started doing curbside pick-up. I started doing free local deliveries. I even did pick-ups at my house for people I know. I was doing anything that would make people feel safe while shopping.”
As for the website, Taylor said it was a daunting process for her. She said it was more time consuming than anything, and since the shop was closed, she had nothing but time to work on it. She also said it was just a matter of sitting down and getting all the product on the website with photos and descriptions. She tries to work on it once a week.
Taylor has also changed how she orders merchandise and how she manages the shop.
At The Gift Enclosure, Taylor said they love seeing new faces go into the shop. She commented, “We love chatting with people and finding out what brought them downtown, what they’re up to, what they’re looking for. We love when people just come in to browse. This is a no-pressure kind of place. We are always getting new things in.”
Taylor also stated, “We like this to just be a fun place for people to come in and take a look around for some retail therapy and maybe see the shop dog Rosie.”
The Gift Enclosure is open Monday and Tuesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit them online at thegiftenclosure.com and online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.