Not sure what to get anyone for Christmas and have put off shopping until now?
Step into Gifts Unlimited in Mattituck, and your holiday shopping anxiety will disappear. Every inch of the small shop is covered in items to satisfy young and old, man or woman, adult or child as a gift wrapped under the tree or stuffed in a stocking.
Owner Sunny Park has been at the Mattituck location next to the Hess gas station on Route 25 for seven years, stocking everything from chocolates and candies, cookie trays and stuffed animals, iPhone covers and designer handbags to a selection of handcrafted jewelry she has become known for by locals and tourists.
“I not only make a living making and selling jewelry — it is my life’s passion,” she said.
Sunny said she learned the art of handcrafted jewelry in her native Seoul, Korea, before meeting her husband, Sidney, in New York City 30 years ago, then setting up her first business in Riverhead. Sweets Unlimited was open for 20 years in the Walmart shopping plaza in Riverhead and focused more on chocolates, nuts and candies.
“Back then, we sold a lot of nuts and chocolates and such, but the economy and lifestyle was so different 30 years ago — not nearly as many people cook let alone bake today as much as they used to,” Sunny said.
At the Mattituck location, Sunny changed the name of the business to Gifts Unlimited, transitioning from a focus on sweets to jewelry. She has friends who comb local beaches all year to find pieces of beach glass for Sunny to make into necklaces, bracelets and rings, and Sunny herself is always on the lookout for beach glass locally and when she travels.
At Gifts Unlimited, Sunny rotates stock based on the season — not as much chocolate in the summer and more holiday-themed items during Christmas. She also offers repair service for jewelry and watches and hand-stamps letters for personalized pieces of jewelry.
Robin Martin of New Suffolk stopped into Gifts Unlimited last Friday to pick up a set of custom dog tags for her grandson with his name hand-stamped on the tags.
“This the best place for jewelry on the North Fork, if you ask me,” Martin said.
Sunny said that she feels she has created a niche for herself on the North Fork and feels a sense of cooperation rather than competition with similar local businesses like the Love Lane Sweet Shoppe and similar boutiques in Greenport.
“I don’t have Godiva chocolates, for example, but Love Lane does, so I send people over there,” Sunny said. “Love Lane, Greenport … they are different markets than what I have here.”
Sunny lives in Patchogue with her husband (she wants people to know that she does not live in the storage trailer attached to the back of her shop) and is open all year round at Gifts Unlimited, closed only on Tuesdays and Sundays this time of year.
Though December has been a steady month for the store, Sunny said she expects to be slammed as usual during the next few days as people scramble for those unique gifts and stocking stuffers for Christmas.
“There will be a lot of last-minute shoppers in here this week and weekend,” she said. “And last-minute shopping is great for chocolate — that way people don’t have the chance to eat it all themselves.”
Where do you go for your last-minute Christmas shopping locally? Let us know in the comments.