Some stores when you walk inside have a special ambiance and feel charming and cozy. They inspire you to look around and try to absorb everything. That is the feeling upon entering Jamie Kita’s store, Seasonal Inspirations, a gift shop in downtown Olivet. It’s full of delightful and unique handmade items, and there is something for almost every season and holiday available.
Kita is a talented person, both in her artwork, which she sells in the store, and the way she displays the items she sells. There are no metal shelves with products lined up in straight rows. You will find her products arranged more like you might arrange them in your home, on unique furniture pieces, ladders, a pergola, or rustic cupboards and drawers. Texture, color, and design all play an important role in Seasonal Inspirations.
It’s like “Pinterest in a store,” some might say. Her unique taste and artistic talent aren’t limited by style or season. Farmhouse-style and spring items, in whites and soft neutrals, are some of her featured product styles available now, along with primitive, country, and rustic. She also enjoys re-purposing items, using items in a new, perhaps unexpected way. “I like to be functional and practical, but still have it look good,” she explained.
Kita knows her community. She serves as president of the Olivet Chamber of Commerce. She graduated from Olivet High School, and much of her family lives in the area. She’s had her store since September 2015, and before that had a shop at home in their pole barn. The store, located at 102 Washington Street, used to be Olivet Pharmacy. When she heard the building was available, she decided she wanted to give it a shot, even though she’s not usually much of a risk-taker, she said.
Initially, she rented out booth space to other crafters, but now is selling mostly her own products and some items for resale. She estimates sixty percent of her products she has made herself; the rest are things she has purchased for re-sale, like candles, cards, t-shirts, dip mixes, and more.
“I like to dabble in a lot of crafts,” Kita said. Kita is very handy with tools, including more advanced skills such as welding and woodworking. Her husband, Jeff, helps a lot, she said, despite being very busy with his own work.
“Crafting is a great stress relief,” she said. She has a workspace in her shop for herself, plus space to share with others who want to create. The Gathering Room, where workshops are held, is spacious and inviting. Kita hopes to be able to offer more workshops in the future. She has offered needle felting, wreaths, and spring door decor recently. She also offers Community Time, free crafting drop-in times to for those who enjoy the social aspects of crafting with a friend.
“I want to inspire others,” Kita said, “Anything I learn I like to share with others. It’s more about the relationships we form here. I’m discovering ‘me’ and what I really want to do here, too.”
“Each year my sales have increased, which I’m thankful for,” Kita said. “I had a phenomenal fall, despite COVID. The community here is so tight-knit and supportive.”
To contact Seasonal Inspirations, call 269-223-2790. The store is closed on Mondays but is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Visit their website at seasonal-inspirations.com or on Facebook at seasonalinspirationsgiftshop. You can also email Jamie at seasonal-inspirations.com.