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holiday-magazine_2014

We are a weekly newspaper serving the communities of Exeter, Lindsay, and Woodlake California.

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O ne of the most versa le places to pick up a gi for the person who is most difficult to shop for is probably Explore the Collec- on or be er known as etc. tucked in downtown Exeter on E street. Linda S. McIntosh has owned etc. since Labor Day 2013 and has been proud to provide Exeter residents with tasteful décor. Part of what makes her store so diverse is her ability to provide whatever the market may need. "I really just want to be able to provide whatever the market is miss- ing," Linda says. As the store name suggests the idea is to explore the collec on of items the store has to offer, whatever that may be. "Because the name is etc. it really opens me up to sell anything. I'm not boxed into one genre so I can go with the flow," Linda said. One key feature to etc. are the Lazy Susan's cra ed out of used oak wine barrels. Linda's Lazy Susans are almost there to greet you as you walk in as they sit tastefully displayed on a high white table in the center of the store. Cra ed from the top of recycled barrels of wine the Lazy Susan's s ll have their original metal banding around the lip of the gi . Lazy Susans are nothing new, and have been used since the early 1900's. While they have been around for quite some me, Linda's are created in a very unique fashion, and different from other Lazy Susan's you can pick up at any other place for décor. Large big box stores can have their Lazy Susan's, like most of their other items, created on an assembly line. Linda instead has hers expertly created by a master cra sman who takes his me with his items making sure that it is up to his standards. Aside from being masterfully cra ed out of a recycled oak barrel, the lip that lines the Lazy Susan is not necessarily standard design for all Lazy Susans. With the swi turning mo on items on the turn table could eas- ily fall off, the lip ensures that all food and drinks stay securely on the table. Yet another draw to these expertly constructed gi s is the natural staining they received from wine they held. You can easily tell the side that faced the inside of the barrel as it takes on a burgandy hue, while the other side sustains its tasteful oak decorum. Accompanying the Lazy Susan's in the center of Linda's store are other recycled oak wine barrel trays. Easily placed on kitchen counters to hold fresh fruits, or dining room tables for flowers, the wine barrel trays are easily one of the best gi ideas for anyone looking to add that certain something to their home. Linda has her Lazy Susan's priced at a $160 a piece, a considerable mark down from the $200 or more other places would charge. Her price point doesn't only make her Lazy Susan's appealing but affordable as well. Explore the Collec on is far from a one trick pony as they sell far more gi s than oak barrel wine tops with original banding. In trying to provide what other stores lack Linda has also put her gourds out on display. Gourds are dried vegeta on from the squash family that are hollowed and dried out and used to create all different types of decora ons. Some are even used for decora- ve lamps. For the Holiday season Linda will have gourds decorated as Santa Claus that people may want to use to give their home that added Christmas cheer. Only adding to her collec on of items on display are hand woven wreaths. They are expertly done in Pennsylvania and shipped to Exeter. Some mes the leaves stay intact despite the long journey making for an even more authen c look. Atop of her handmade wreaths and Lazy Susans, Linda also likes to sell some local items in her store. All crocheted garments are made by local talent Stephanie Sario, lavender soaps and lo ons are made by a family in Turlock but are accented by lavender plants and scents grown right down the road in Farmersville. If by the me you're ready to checkout and need a touching card, there is no need to buy one from hallmark; instead you can pick one from Linda's collec on si ng right next to the register. Linda gets all of her cards from Visalia na ve Jan Larue Franney who draws all the art by hand. Presen ng someone with a gi from a local store accompanied by a handmade card from a valley na ve screams sincerity. Unlike large retail stores Linda enjoys ge ng to know each and every one of her custom- ers that walk through the door. That is why she chose the loca on she did. It isn't a gaudy store with lots of lights and large a rac ons. Instead it is quaint, it is tasteful, and it gives Linda the opportunity to personally help those who come through to find the perfect gi for them. "I love the size of the shop, it gives me the chance to really get to know my customers," Linda said. So when you're walking through downtown Exeter and it's the holiday season and you aren't sure what that special person would really like, think about etc. 21 www.fsgnews.com Exeter Boutique "etc." (Explore the Collection) offers barrels of expertly handcrafted gifts

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