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Clover Gift Shop and Apothecary: Continuing the Legacy

Mar 20, 2020 01:37PM ● By by E. Senteio Photos by Lynn Bohannon
It was 1928 when Clover Gift Shop first opened its doors at 10 Elm Street in Woodstock, Vermont. The establishment is as much a part of Woodstock as fall foliage and maple syrup. In its almost century of existence it has always been owned and operated by a woman—the first was Mae Winslow. In 2008, after 25 years, the mantle was passed from Donna Lewis to PJ Eames.

Today the 1,400-square-foot space is filled with an array of “stuff that makes people happy,” PJ says. “There will be a group of shoppers cracking up looking at greeting cards or someone saying to friends, ‘Oh! Look at this!’” There’s a plethora of unique items to explore, including accessories, jewelry, pottery, handmade gourds that light up, home décor, baby gifts, and homeopathic items.

Becoming owner of Clover, PJ recalls as “sort of random,” yet her background was always moving her in that direction. After graduating from college in upstate New York, she was unsure what she wanted to do. “My sister owned The Red Wagon in Vermont, so I moved here and helped her.” Soon PJ was manager. After meeting her husband Jared, they relocated to Burlington where PJ became an assistant buyer of housewares for April Cornell. “Then in 2005 we came back to Woodstock and I helped my sister open her other store, 37 Central Clothiers.” It was about that time that PJ realized she wanted to spread her wings and came across a “store for sale” ad on Craigslist.

“But I was unsure; it was a huge commitment.” PJ worked with SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives), an organization that matches novices with retired business professionals. It’s a free service. “My mentor was Barry Rotman, who owned a chain of furniture stores in Massachusetts but lived in Norwich. He helped with my business plan and other things I wouldn’t have considered at 28 years old.”

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