by Kathryn Holtrop
Opened on October 1, 2019, Silver & Gifts is a new store located in the Lakes Mall, which aims to bring the local community unique gifts and products created by local artists, crafters, and photographers.
Curator and co-founder, Lila Rinehart, a 4-year Air Force veteran, hopes that her store can provide a wide variety of hand-crafted gift options for people who don’t have time to make a special gift for every occasion. And, for people who don’t know what gifts to give, Silver & Gifts provides good customer service and will help customers find just the right thing. Even if people need a gift the store doesn’t carry directly, co-founder, Bill Wheaton, says that he will help customers find out who does sell it, “We saw Miracle on 34th Street. We thought it was a good idea.”
A number of local artists and craftspeople are selling their work through Silver & Gifts. Together with Bill, Jolene Hittle offers a variety of silver jewelry items at affordable prices. Artist, crafter, and co-founder, Tamara Meinders-Huddleston, showcases her hand-painted, watercolor Mar Mar Cards. Lila and Tamara make custom gift baskets perfect for any event, holiday, or gift-giving occasion. Lila designs candy bouquets, diaper cakes for baby shower decorations, and special “Oh, No! Kits” for those of us women who may need a bandaid, Tylenol, or other little necessity, on short notice. Photographer Christopher Kelsch presents framed photos of beautiful west-side Muskegon scenes like iconic Michigan lighthouses, sunsets, and country backdrops that highlight the good things Pure Michigan has to offer. Local storyboard artist and illustrator, Tim Holtrop, displays sketch books and sketch cards, as well as prints of his black-and-white and color illustrations for sale. Several of Tim’s illustrations have appeared in books written by West Michigan author, Peter Welmerink. Other of his characters and illustrations are also featured on his cybercrayon.net or cuddlycritters.net websites.
In the future, Lila hopes to be able to give back to our heroes by making special care packages that families can have the store send to their loved ones in the Armed Forces. She wants her care packages to include necessities for the troops, as well as a few special little things to make them smile.
Silver & Gifts makes customized, thoughtful gifts for people, and Lila wants the store to be a place where families are welcome, where smiles are offered to everyone, and where brightness is spread around to all. As Silver & Gifts grows, she hopes that it can give back to the community she loves so much.