The White Home gift shop, tucked into the corner of Elizabeth and White Street in downtown Rock Hill, maybe the ultimate local shopping experience.
Most of the items for sale were made by York County artisans. The food items come from South Carolina vendors. Even the cotton used to make wreaths is from York County fields.
Best of all, profits from the gift shop go to Historic Rock Hill for preservation efforts throughout the county.
"It has worked unbelievably well. There is a lot of good local talent," said gift store manager Lydia Lochocki.
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The White Home is one of the oldest houses in the city, dating to 1839. Owners George Pendleton Stewart White and his wife, Ann Hutchinson White, moved to Rock Hill in the late 1830s. They bought a modest, box-like farmhouse and 142 acres for $500 in silver from another prominent family, the Blacks.
Over the years, the farmhouse grew vertically and horizontally. The initial farmhouse is now the location of the gift shop. Restoration of the White Home was completed in 2010.
The house has furniture and portraits on display that were collected over five generations of Whites who lived there. The house also can be rented for gatherings and weddings.
From the start, the gift store's managers decided to focus on local artisans and works that complement the home's history. Lochocki also tries to ensure the shop sells only American-made items.
The gifts range from bedspreads turned into stuffed animals, hand-carved wooden bowls, plus exquisite pottery and jewelry. Christmas items include cotton wreaths, papier-mâché Santas and ornaments of local landmarks.
Some of the handmade items can be pricey, but Lochocki said some gifts are as inexpensive as $5.
The gift store is also working with the Catawbas to sell their pottery and other items.