Business


Lifelong Resident Opens The Gift Box At Church Hill And Queen

Published: September 18, 2017 at 12:00 am

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Owner Martine Shanchuk is joined by First Selectman Pat Llodra, family members, store associates, and representatives from the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission during ribbon cutting festivities to open The Gift Box at…
Owner Martine Shanchuk is joined by First Selectman Pat Llodra, family members, store associates, and representatives from the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission during ribbon cutting festivities to open The Gift Box at 14 Church Hill Road on September 7. (Bee Photos, Voket)
The Gift Box is pleased to feature 18-karat gold plated charms and pendants, along with other jewelry products from Savannah, Ga.-based Spartina 449.
The Gift Box is pleased to feature 18-karat gold plated charms and pendants, along with other jewelry products from Savannah, Ga.-based Spartina 449.
Along with a limited line of Shihreen ponchos and cardigans, The Gift Box is stocking a selection of sharp Katie Q brand purses and wallets, which owner Martine Shanchuk was drawn to because of their nice fall colors, styles, and durable materials.
Along with a limited line of Shihreen ponchos and cardigans, The Gift Box is stocking a selection of sharp Katie Q brand purses and wallets, which owner Martine Shanchuk was drawn to because of their nice fall colors, styles, and durable materials.
Among the interesting and heart warming greeting cards at The Gift Box gift shop are these designs from Pumpernickel.
Among the interesting and heart warming greeting cards at The Gift Box gift shop are these designs from Pumpernickel.
The Gift Box owner Martine Shanchuk looks over the line of men's specialty products and gifts she is currently stocking at her newly opened gift store on the corner of Queen Street at 14 Church Hill Road.
The Gift Box owner Martine Shanchuk looks over the line of men's specialty products and gifts she is currently stocking at her newly opened gift store on the corner of Queen Street at 14 Church Hill Road.
Show you are Newtown (or Sandy Hook) proud with one or more of these localized home decor accents, including a few local designs by local artisan Melissa Sorrentino, now available at The Gift Box at 14 Church Hill Road.
Show you are Newtown (or Sandy Hook) proud with one or more of these localized home decor accents, including a few local designs by local artisan Melissa Sorrentino, now available at The Gift Box at 14 Church Hill Road.
Visitors may recognize the location, even the new owner's face behind the counter, but lifelong Newtown resident Martine Shanchuk guarantees that any visitor to The Gift Box on the corner of Queen Street at 14 Church Hill Road will experience complete immersion into a brand-new world of cool, enticing, and exciting gifts, fashions, cards, and decorative accents.

Ms Shanchuk spent months preparing the cozy shop for its grand opening, which occurred over the weekend of September 8. Ahead of that, she meticulously selected each item on display from a variety of regional and national suppliers, including some great fashion accessories, jewelry, and men's specialty gifts that she discovered during a recent junket to the NY NOW home, lifestyle, and gift show at New York's Javits Center in mid-August.

The local business owner said The Gift Box provides her with an opportunity to interact with customers, helping them find the perfect card, gift, or household item, while putting years of retail management experience, along with floor planning and window design skills, to work in her own home town. She previously worked as an associate who quickly advanced to become a store co-manager for Eddie Bauer, and also spent time working in the previous business that occupied her current location.

"I already had familiarity with the space, but I really set out to start from scratch building The Gift Box so it had its own identity," Ms Shanchuk told The Newtown Bee during a recent visit. "I worked really hard on the basic store design, coordinating colors to remake the space in an appealing way before I ever started considering the floor plan and layout of our merchandise."

Ms Shanchuk is a Class of '97 Newtown High School grad and was a leader in the marching band. She went on to graduate from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in music, and has since played clarinet in community bands, and with the Connecticut Pops ensemble.

"But then a career in retail kind of took over," she said.

Having worked in the fast-paced and high traffic environment at the Danbury Fair mall, Ms Shanchuk and her associates can certainly handle a crush of customers at The Gift Box. But she would much rather spend quality time with patrons ensuring they can see or model any of the hundreds of items she offers to find the perfect selection.

In the weeks before her store's opening, Ms Shanchuk was excited to visit one of the largest gift and home shows in the country so she could complete her fall/winter line of offerings with some of the newest and hottest items available in the marketplace.

"I went to discover new products, but I specifically had my eye out for men's gift items, as well as anything that struck me as being particularly appealing to my local patrons," she said. "There was a lot of jewelry, so I had to look really hard to find just the right lines."

One of the lines she saw at the New York gift show was a line she was already familiar with, and eager to add to The Gift Box - Spartina 449 - which originates from Savannah, Ga.

"I love the packaging and that it is really durable 18-karat gold plate," Ms Shanchuk said. "Some of the pieces come with inspiring messaging, and I think it is very reasonably priced."

She also selected a limited line of Shihreen ponchos and cardigans, along with some sharp Katie Q brand purses and wallets.

"I liked the Katie Q brand for its nice fall colors, styles, and durable materials - there's really something here for every taste," Ms Shanchuk said.

For those looking to pick up a home accent that represents their own home town, Ms Shanchuk has a line of Newtown and Sandy Hook accessories, including some locally designed and branded pieces by Melissa Sorrentino.

And she has received a huge response over her unique selection of witty and colorful gift and greeting cards.

Ms Shanchuk said that in the coming weeks she will be completing her fall/winter product line with late arrivals from both the gift show and other sources, and then she will begin planning new displays and windows for the upcoming holiday season.

Foregoing a website, anyone interested in learning more about The Gift Box can check it on Facebook.

One Facebook visitor commented: "I was surprised to see everything from clothes to tea sets to lotions! I especially love how your store is set up and how your beautiful displays make it easy to shop. I was drawn right to a style necklace that I don't already own (gift to self!!) The staff was lovely and helpful too. I'll be back!"

Patrons are also welcome to call 203-426-5235. The Gift Box is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.

 

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2