A spirit of giving: Local business offers free gift wrapping at Christmas and all year long
SHEPHERDSTOWN — For one local business, the spirit of giving extends long past the Christmas season.
When it was founded in 1991 by Debbi Dickinson and Meredith Wait, Dickinson & Wait Craft Gallery offered free gift wrapping as a customer perk. And now, 28 years later, the business is still gift wrapping customer purchases from the store for free.
For many shoppers, such as Shepherdstown resident Dan Anderson, the free gift wrapping service simplifies his Christmas preparations.
“Gift wrapping is really an art form, and most people just don’t cultivate that skill. That’s one of the reasons I shop here. A second reason, is because they have very unique things that you can’t find anywhere else,” Anderson said, as he waited for the gifts he had just purchased for three of his colleagues at Green Tree Realty to be wrapped by Wait.
A minute-or-two later, Wait, dressed as an elf, stepped out of her business office to hand Anderson a brown paper bag filled with his gift wrapped purchases.
According to Wait, when Christmas in Shepherdstown starts, she and Dickinson pull out their elf costumes and start putting out a platter of freshly baked cookies from Burkholder’s Baked Goods, in Sharpsburg, Md., every day.
“We are the elves,” Wait said, with a smile. “Our customers are always happy when the cookies come out — they come out every Black Friday until Christmas.
“The gift wrapping is just a courtesy we offer for our customers, and many of them appreciate it — especially men. People who are busy like to take advantage of it,” Wait said. “We just started talking about it early on, when we were planning to open our shop — we wanted to be full service.
“Some stores have gift bags, but we really want the presentation to stand out and look good. Everybody loves getting Dickinson & Wait boxes, from what I’ve heard,” Wait said, mentioning the gallery buys 100-yard commercial rolls of wrapping paper, because of the number of gifts they wrap throughout the year.
While not all local businesses offer free gift wrapping, Wait said the service is one example why people should shop at small businesses. Although big box stores may have a larger selection of items, local businesses have more personalized customer service treatment.
“I would encourage everyone to support small shops — not just us, but everyone,” Wait said. “We’re here every day of the year.”