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Eclectic market features local artisans

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 9:03 p.m.
Sharon D'Agostino of Ligonier displays some of her artistic creations recently at the Twisted Vine, a new business in Ligonier that carries handmade, one-of-a-kind items from local merchants.  Twisted Vine held their Open House last weekend to welcome the community to come in and meet the local artisans.
Cami DiBattista
Sharon D'Agostino of Ligonier displays some of her artistic creations recently at the Twisted Vine, a new business in Ligonier that carries handmade, one-of-a-kind items from local merchants. Twisted Vine held their Open House last weekend to welcome the community to come in and meet the local artisans.

Shop for unique, one-of-a-kind items in a warm and inviting atmosphere at the Twisted Vine Eclectic Market, a new shop that recently opened in the community. Located along Route 30 West, just outside of Ligonier, the Twisted Vine specializes in leasing space to hand-picked local artisans. Currently 45 different artisans are displaying their creations, 75 percent live in the Ligonier area.

Both originally of Ligonier, proprietors Aimee Smith of Laughlintown and Misty Hegan Hefner of Greensburg plan to offer a shopping experience that is memorable and impressionable, Hefner said. And, they have provided just that with the array of handmade goods, antiques and collectables that decorate the building. Jewelry, candles, purses, clothing, accessories, Amish furniture and up-cycled chairs and tables and sweet, savory treats are only a portion of the items available for purchase at the market. Artists determine their own prices for their goods and a portion of sales go back to the store.

Though the shop opened in October, they conducted a grand opening celebration recently for the community to come in and enjoy the shop. Complementary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served while guests mingled with the artisan merchants. Nov. 17 marked the beginning of ‘Give-A-Way Saturdays.' Customers who spend $10 or more throughout the week are entered in a drawing to win a unique prize every Saturday until Christmas.

“We've been blown away by the community response,” said Hefner, “Everyone has been so great.”

Smith and Hefner have backgrounds in marketing, retail and merchandising and, in addition to providing retail space, they also provide advertising and marketing advice to help local merchants get their businesses up and running.

Help in the form of expertise is also is provided by Smith's mother, Becky Smith, who ran the Wooden Bobbin in Ligonier for almost 10 years.

“She's guided us along,” said Hefner, “And, she's resurrected her shop here.”

Merchant Sharon D'Agostino of Ligonier ‘was painting before she could talk,' she said. She described her art, which includes hand painted furniture, stained glass items and pottery, as everything from quirky to elegant.

“This is absolutely wonderful”, D'Agostino said about the open house, “It's just so great to have a venue for all the talented people in the area.”

Tristine Herb of Bradenville displayed an array of handmade jewelry, from silver necklaces and earrings with authentic African trade beads, to personalized photo jewelry and necklaces crafted out of guitar picks.

“It's very exciting,” said Herb, “It's one stop shopping for Christmas. You can get something for anyone here.”

Twisted Vine offers a layaway plan and a wish list that allows customers to keep track of items they may want to purchase or receive as a gift at a later date.

For more information about the store, visit www.facebook.com/TwistedVine.Ligonier or call (724) 804-VINE(8463).

Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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