For people looking for unique American-made gifts, jewelry or household items, Washington now has a new shop, Fern & Sycamore, at 319 Elm St.
Owners Gina and Cole Scego, Beaufort, opened the shop in August.
The Scegos also own a powdercoating business, Select Powdercoating, which they have run for the past 10 years.
Being a small business owner was a big part of wanting to open a shop, said Gina Scego.
“The only way to turn around our country is to support our country,” she said. “The best way to do that is to buy American.
“We thought if we focused on nothing but really awesome American-made goods, it would make it easier to support other companies and artists in America,” she added.
In place of jewelry forms and metal tables to display items are varying sizes of sycamore tree cuts, rocks from her property and handmade display cases. Even the furniture was made by Cole Scego at his business.
Gina Scego said she carries items that can’t be found in big box stores. Items aren’t mass produced, so each item is unique, she noted.
Artisans in the shop represent many different states, spanning from Maine to Seattle, Wash.
The shop offers items from more than 15 jewelers, candles, bags, knives, kitchenware, wood carvings, home decor, garden tools and more.
Everything is American made, right down to the clasps on the dog collars.
Near each display is a card about the artist including where they’re from, how many Americans they employ and their background.
Scego knows the background of each item.
For example, playing cards sold in the shop have a history with the U.S. military.
During World War II, the U.S. government asked the company to create special edition playing cards to send to the American troops. Soldiers could get the cards wet and peel them apart to find escape routes and survival information.
The same company, though no longer printing secret information inside the cards, is still in business today.
“It’s a great story behind an American company,” Scego said. “How could you not support something like that?”
Scego said her goal is to help people realize what a difference buying American-made products can have, including supporting American jobs.
Prior to opening the shop, the Scegos remodeled the interior and exterior of the building, which used to be a bait shop.
Store hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The shop can be reached at 636-667-1919.
A grand opening celebration will be held this Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The celebration will include food from “The Hot Dog Man,” Marcus Daily. The first 50 people will get a free “wonder weenie” hot dog.
A basket drawing also will be held.