Downtown Shippensburg has a new store—the Cumberland Shop. Local and handmade items are the centerpiece of the new boutique, located at 16 West King Street. The shop is a place where local artisans of all genres can showcase and sell their handiwork. From beautifully crafted wood pieces like charcuterie boards and manipulated serving boards to hand-crafted scarves, bags, children’s clothes, and various wall art from local artists, the Cumberland Shop gives holiday gifting a double benefit. The gifts not only bring pleasure to the giver and receiver but also fulfill the artisans who created them.
Nancy Hudson, pastor at Oasis of Love Church in Shippensburg, had the vision for the Cumberland shop. “I’ve done a lot of traveling. I like to get something hand-crafted in the areas that I visit. I thought that Shippensburg had so much to offer and felt there was a void. I wanted to bring all the makers and creators together from this area,” she said.
The Cumberland Shop offers an outlet for people to earn money through the sale of their handiworks. The majority of items are locally crafted, but some items originate in other countries. An example is Ghana where a multi-faith training center specializes in using local batik fabric to create bags and purses for the shop. The cloth is made by painting cloth with hot batik wax and dying it. The cracks in the batik wax give the material its special appearance. Hand-crafted glass beads made in Ghana are also used to create a variety of beautiful jewelry, again made specifically for the shop. A short video on display, gives the consumer a birds eye view of the intricate process of bead making, and that makes their purchase all the more meaningful.
Because the Cumberland Valley aligns with the mid-point of the Appalachian Trail, one of the shop’s artisans is making walking sticks. A portion of the proceeds from the walking sticks is given to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which oversees the national trail.
The quality of items at the Cumberland are matched by the variety. Some of the many items are: honey products of Honey Bee Friendly, LLC; original paintings, cards and ornaments by TokkiDesign; charcuterie boards by Natures Platters, a special Cumberland roast by Abednego Coffee Roasters; children’s clothing by Plum Baby; fabric art by Afinchsong Creation; paintings by Jean Frey; jewelry, crocheted, and hand woven items plus hand-made purses by Kasudelu; soaps by Fourth Century Farms; ceramic art by Yellow Door Studio; hand-knitted shawls by Debbie Rhinehart; photography by Judy Witter; Hot Head Hot Sauce and Sadie’s Dressing.
Looking ahead, the Cumberland plans to offer classes. For now, less than a month after opening, the Cumberland shop is happy to be inspiring artists, providing a means of sharing works and supporting a variety of makers as they grow and earn a livelihood—all in the heart of the beautiful Cumberland Valley.