Generally I’ll find one very unique retailer in the towns that I tour on my jaunts around the country. I found three in Grove City, PA, all of which are still owned and operated by their founders’ families.
For over 80 years Wendell August has been hand forging works of art—out of aluminum, pewter, bronze and silver. They still do it in Grove City on the oldest and largest forge of its kind. Their gift catalog is very impressive.
Joden World Resources specializes in antique estate modern jewelry. My tour guide, Leann Smith, Executive Director of Grove City Chamber, told me of going to museums in London and not seeing the same quality that she could see in Joden’s showroom in Grove City.
Slovak Folk Crafts started when Dave and Anne Dayton spent four months in Slovakia in 2000. They quickly fell in love with the people and were charmed by the folk art crafts, but were distressed by the difficulty that the country was having in moving toward a free market economy after more than 40 years under communist control and domination.
They returned to Grove City and began importing folk crafts with a mission of creating jobs in Slovakia, investing the proceeds back into the country and educating Americans about the eastern European country.
I’ve often thought that if we could reach out to countries that are struggling and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in their citizens, we might be able to change the world for the better. I hope that the Slovak Folk Crafts idea is something that others will do with other countries around the world.