Saltbox Gift Shop
1345 S. Fort Ave., Springfield, 417-862-3707;
open Monday–Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Linda Norman took over the Saltbox Gift Shop in 1991 but has been there since the ’70s. When ownership of Wickman’s Garden Village changed hands to Chris and Amber Kristek and Jim and Lana Simmerman, Lana wanted to keep Linda as manager. Together, they’ve seen the shop continue to grow. The merchandise that once started with candy and little knickknack items has evolved into a great balance of gifts and home décor. Linda’s goal now is to find items that treat every season as a special event to celebrate. “I feel like the seasons are a gift,” Linda says.
She and her fellow buyers head to a vendor market in Dallas twice a year—once for the January to June season and again for the June to December season. In between trips, Linda is always thinking about the upcoming seasons and is busy finding new items for customers to enjoy. Linda says when they’re looking for new products, they look for popular colors and styles but try to avoid being too trendy. The goal for the Saltbox is to be timeless and to have something for everybody.
The Stuff for Sale
The Saltbox has everything shoppers need in terms of home décor and furnishings from contemporary to traditional. It also sells clothing items, and has a section of toys and accessories for infants and children. Variety is key here.
There are gifts for every price range, and Linda looks for local and American-made companies first. Supporting local vendors and artisans is important to her, and she wants it to be important to her customers. “Shopping locally means the money stays local,” she says. You can catch Saltbox deals during the spring, fall and Christmas open houses and on the Wednesday sales.
In addition to a variety of decorative items you can find year-round, the store’s inventory grows even more during select seasons. Fall is the second-busiest decorating season Linda sees, topped only by the extravagance of Christmas. People start decorating with rich fall colors as early as September and keep decorating during Halloween and Thanksgiving, right up until December, Linda says.
The Saltbox Gift Shop is the place to go when you need something unique for your home or for a friend. You can go in every week and always find something new thanks to the constantly changing displays. And perhaps the best part of the Saltbox is knowing that no matter who you talk to, they have the expertise to find you exactly what you’re looking for. Almost every employee in the store has been there several years, and some have been there decades. “We’re excited to be here, and we want customers to be excited to be here,” Linda says.