In the mood for craftiness? West Haven has more artisanal work for sale at the Tyler Newkirk Craft Company at the B&B Farm on Jones Hill Road.
Newkirk is an old hand at the crafting game, having started at age 15. Starting his business in West Haven was a “no brainer,” he says, as he’s a native and his family has been here a long time. He loves the fact that people are very supportive.
“It’s a very, very tight-knit community,” he says.
His family had their business here, and he knew from that the positives of the city.
Newkirk’s inventory, housed in a lovely barn he decorates top to bottom and side to rustic side, changes every season. The change from autumnal oranges, fall leaves and pumpkins and twinkling orange lights to a winter wonderland filled with decorated trees, golden lights, wreaths, and poinsettias is the toughest transition he makes all year, he says. And, of course, amid all that holiday finery are wondrous things to buy, handmade decor by Newkirk and 15 other local crafters: wreaths, arrangements, ornaments, houseplants, candles, soaps, Christmas cards and stationery, local honey, incense, stocking stuffers, and the impossible-to-find-elsewhere “06516” decor are only some of the items available. There are also outdoor wreaths, swags and grave pillows made by Tyler.
The fact that the items are one-of-a-kind is the biggest draw.
“Just about anything in here, you cannot find anywhere else, as 90% of it is handmade,” Newkirk says. And what’s more, “people say they love to come here because it’s like visiting a friend – not like going to a store and standing in the self-checkout line,” he continues. Newkirk has a lot of regulars, too.”I’ve gotten to know my customers to the extent where I can ask about their dog or their new home,” he smiles.
Newkirk has been featured on Channel 8 in New Haven and Channel 3 in Hartford as well as in the New Haven Register., and shoppers come from all over the state in search of the unique and different.
“They can’t find these items anywhere in their part of the state,” Tyler says of his eclectic emporium. “They say, ‘Oh wow, look at that place – it’s like nowhere I’ve seen before!’”
Losing yourself in the local scene at the Holiday Pop Up Shop and Tyler Newkirk Craft Company will probably put a dent in your holiday shopping, but it will also put a dent in any of that aforementioned holiday aggravation.
And that’s something we could all use.