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Cumberland Valley Creativity is on Full Display at The Cumberland Shop

16 W. King St.

Shippensburg, PA

Since opening its doors in November 2020, during the pandemic, The Cumberland Shop’s goal has been to provide a brick-and-mortar location for local artisans with ties to the Cumberland Valley to display and sell their work to the community. The Shop, located in downtown Shippensburg, provides a place where residents and visitors can see, touch, appreciate, and purchase these unique local creations.

Founded by Nancy A. Hudson, a local pastor, and supported by Julianne Hayhurst (shop manager) and Chelcee Hayhurst (shop employee), along with Laura Baum (marketing director), a board of directors, and many wonderful volunteers, The Cumberland Shop reflects their commitment to supporting the local community. While most small businesses are set up and operated as for-profit ventures, Nancy established The Cumberland Shop as a non-profit. “We are here not to support ourselves but to support others,” she says. Most of the proceeds from each sale go to support the artisans themselves, with the sales from the glass beadwork and batik fabric bags going to the Oasis International Training Centre in Ghana, West Africa. The store also serves as a donation drop-off site for Community Cares and Women In Need, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of certain items support Women in Need and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The store reflects Nancy’s commitment and passion for the talents of local artisans. “Creativity comes in many forms – through a paintbrush, with words, and even through food,” notes Nancy. To prove that point, The Shop’s biggest seller is Sadie’s Dressing, a salad dressing made by Nancy from her great-grandmother’s recipe and bottled in the licensed kitchen at her church.

Throughout this journey, Nancy and her team have been supported and inspired by several other local artisan shops, including P.J. Heyman from Village Artisans Gallery in Boiling Springs. “She was a blessing and a great help,” notes Nancy. When starting a business, Julianne says it’s important to “get all your ducks in a row. Research what’s been done and what works. Have in-person conversations and build relationships.” Before opening, they received advice and support from local officials and other businesses in town, particularly Sherry Carbaugh from Raspberry Jam, a gift shop just a few blocks away. “We can do this better together” is the prevailing mindset and reflects the welcoming attitude for new businesses in Shippensburg and other towns in Cumberland Valley.

Like many small businesses, The Cumberland Shop has faced challenges since opening. The biggest challenge of being in a smaller town is “getting people in the door, “says Julianne. However, with more than 42 artisans and an ever-changing inventory, she knows that once customers first visit and see all the amazing products, they will be repeat visitors. During difficult times, Julianne takes great encouragement from “seeing the growth of our different artisans. It’s been incredible to watch their skills grow as we share their work with others.”

As for the future, Nancy looks to her roots as an educator (former teacher of Art Education). The Cumberland Shop has just begun to scratch the surface of what it can start to do as an educational resource that offers structured classes and workshops from different artisans. And, while the team prioritizes “seeing the artistry with your own eyes, holding it with your own hands, and smelling the aromas of locally-made products,” they also understand the value of online shopping. They are actively working to offer this convenience in the near future.

For more information about The Cumberland Shop, including a list of artisans, visit their website at TheCumberlandShop.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Click here to browse a complete list of Cumberland Valley local shops and boutiques.

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