2012-08-15 / Community

Country Touch, and a Smile

Doing Business in Philipstown
By Tim Greco

Connie Kelley at the Country Touch 
Tim Greco Connie Kelley at the Country Touch Tim Greco “I don’t have hot flashes; I have short private vacations in the tropics.”

The Country Touch gift shop, at 97 Main Street in the heart of Cold Spring, has been doing business for twenty years come September.

The charming store has a collection of fun and unique, affordable home décor gifts that you won’t find anywhere else on Main Street. And the nice thing is they won’t break the bank.

Owner and New Windsor resident Connie Kelley, who worked for IBM internationally for many years, said that in 1992 IBM was offering a retirement incentive for employees to retire early, so she took the option.

It was in Carmel, California, when she came across a wonderful gift shop that she just fell in love with it, that she said to herself, “I would love to have a shop like this.” She then began her search for the perfect space in Westchester, but found the area to be too pricey. A friend suggested to her that Cold Spring might be a perfect location to open her dream store, and the rest is history.

Kelley makes one feel right at home while in her shop, with its relaxing atmosphere.

And how id business was going? “Not bad, knock wood, we have seen better years, but we are doing fine.”

The Country Touch is a store with a sense of humor. Look around and see the various signs hanging on the walls to prove that point: “I have flying monkeys and ‘I’m not afraid to use them” and “Man cave—no wife—no kids—no problem” or even the romantic, “I love you to the moon and back.” A favorite sign among women shoppers? “The Queen is not amused!”

Then there are the hilarious take-offs on 1940s and 1950s retro-advertising, featuring housewives on dish towels and mugs. “It’s been lovely, but I have to scream now,” says one. Kelley said the store is always filled with laughter.

You can also find great deals at the Country Touch. Prices range from just a few dollars up to $135.

Aromatic candles are sold in abundance. When this reporter visited, the smell of a maple syrup candle was in the air, in this cozy eclectic store. There is a wide selection of mugs in various shapes and sizes, greeting cards for any occasion; classic indoor/outdoor, jute and braided rugs, in an array of colors; and beautiful framed folk art prints.

Customer favorites include quilted placemats, various table toppers, napkins, scarves, jewelry and much more…and don’t forget signs.

In a hurry and just don’t know what to purchase for that person who has everything? Perhaps you might want to share a personal message on a sign. You can order custom wood signs as well, just know that custom signs take approximately 2-3 weeks, so give yourself enough time to order. The next time, “I’ve got to remember to pick up a gift” crosses your mind, remember the Country Touch is right on Main Street—both convenient and enchanting.

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