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New Antioch business caters to unique tastes
By Kim Mikus | Daily Herald Columnist

Cori Denman is one of the owners of Nifty Gifts in Antioch, which sells an array of arts and crafts items.


Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Jewelry, vases and quilts are included in the mix at a new Antioch business.


Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

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Published: 7/29/2010 12:30 AM

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The goal of a new Antioch business is to provide an assortment of unique, handmade gifts.

Cori Denman recently launched Nifty Gifts, a shop at 350 North Ave. The business, which features crafts and other gifts, highlights the work of more than 30 vendors who rent space to display and sell their work.

The store opened at the end of May and features a mix of items, including jewelry, quilts, baby blankets, greeting cards, crocheted doggy sweaters and rustic "rock" rugs from an Arizona vendor. Candles, pottery and scrapbooks will be added at the shop this week.

Denman operates the business with her niece Samantha Perry of Antioch. The entrepreneurs said they have sold their own handmade items at craft shows in the past. They found the sales could be expensive and time consuming for the artist.

"This provides another outlet," said Denman, a resident of Lake Villa, who makes decorative plates.

Vendors are charged between $37 and $125 to rent space at the shop.

"It's a family operation," Denman said.

She added that her 16-year-old daughter, Joanna, is offering scrapbook services at the shop.

"She will create a scrapbook for the shoppers who don't have time to do it themselves," she said.

The prices for merchandise range from $1 to $400 for quilts mainly made by the owner's mother, Laura Jackson.

Denman said it has been difficult getting a business off the ground during a down economy.

However, she is finding that shoppers are enjoying the unusual gifts at the shop and sharing news about the shop with friends.

"People are always buying gifts and looking for something fun," said Denman, who worked for a printing company before staying home with her daughter about five years ago.

The business is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.