WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Page 132 of 211

two local longtime favorites, The Gifted Hand and the Clever Hand Gallery, are gift galleries in Wellesley Center. Both sell Clever Hands Giftedand handmade, wearable art and treasures for the home. But despite similar names, each has its own allure and behind each is a different story. The Gifted Hand It's easy to relate when Georgie Hotchkiss tells how window shop- ping changed her profession. "When I moved to Wellesley in 1993, I quit my commercial real estate career in Boston to stay home and raise my two daughters. One day, I stumbled upon The Gifted Hand and fell in love with it. I wanted all these things to decorate my new home, and myself." The store, located at 32 Church Street, opened in the same location in 1972. For 40 years, its owners have crisscrossed the country, seeking the best of contemporary handicrafts by American artists and craftsmen. It's the kind of place that makes one lust for its beautiful things. "I became a customer," says Hotchkiss. "I got to know the owner, Anita Hausafus. Eventually she asked me to work there seasonally, which I began doing for Christmas in 1996. When my family moved to Weston, and my daughters were older, I started working here one or two days a week. And I began thinking about what might be my next career. In 1998, I told Anita if she ever was interested in selling the store, I wanted it." Fast forward a decade to 2008. After 17 years as its third proprietor, Hausafus and her husband decided to retire in Santa Fe and Georgie Hotchkiss got her wish. But her fledgling experience as an owner in retail didn't go exactly as planned. "Two weeks after I bought the busi- ness, the economy collapsed. I had many sleepless nights wondering, 'What have I done?' " Retail ownership is still a struggle, she admits. Imports may have driven a number of artists out of the business but other talents have emerged. Today's customers often look for lower-priced items than in the past so she offers them choices in a wider range. Nonetheless, Hotchkiss, who knows that people still want unusual and beauti- ful gifts, carries work by more than 300 artisans, including a few Canadians. And she is grateful for her loyal customer base. 131 fall 2012 | WellesleyWeston Magazine

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