Monday, August 18, 2014

Gift Shop Update

by Nancy DeWitt
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

During the planning stage and first years for our museum, I had the good fortune to visit a number of other car museums in the United States. One of my tasks was to check out their gift shops and find out which items were popular sellers. Alas, many of these were too area- or brand-specific for our shop, such as Route 66 signs, Duesenberg coffee-table books, die-cast models of 50s and 60s cars, Bugatti trading cards, and fuzzy dice.

So, we set out to find items that were more closely related to our museum's artifacts, and to create products that you wouldn't find in other stores. Our most popular items are our book, Alaska's Fountainhead Collection: Vintage Treads and Threads, and postcards featuring our cars. The success of our book has encouraged us to produce others. We'll soon have for sale a guide to the museum's photograph collection, and a coloring book about Bobby Sheldon illustrated by Fairbanks artist Sandy Jamieson. This winter we also hope to produce books on Alaska automobile history and our historic fashion collection.

This year we expanded our selection of reproduction vintage hats, which quickly became hot sellers--especially the stylish cloches. Even ladies in the Red Hat Society can find something here!

T-shirts and ballcaps remain popular with our visitors. This year we added three new silk-screened designs, plus some women's shirts featuring our White Steamer and a Packard in Swarovski crystals.

We've had copper ornaments of our Stanley Steamer, Model T (with Santa!), and Argo electric car custom made. You can also find custom bookmarks, lapel pins, mints, mugs, onesies, keychains, and magnets featuring our cars, and earrings made of jewel beetle wing cases like the decorations on one of our vintage coats.

For fun, we have a very popular book about the little Abernathy boys, who drove a Brush automobile cross country in 1910, and a selection of coloring books, paper dolls, model cars, and books on fashion.

Our most recent arrival is a shipment of vintage-inspired Grandmother's Buttons jewelry, made with 100-year-old buttons (below). GB jewelry has been sold in places like Anthropologie, Lord & Taylor, the Palace of Versailles, and The Smithsonian. We carry other jewelry too, including crystal car brooches by Lauren Spencer, Model T earrings, and pieces by Harlow.

We don't have an on-line store, but if there is a book, shirt, cap or other item you'd like, just call us at 907-450-2100 with a credit card and we can ship the item(s) to you. Better yet, stop in the museum soon for some shopping. In mid-September we will switch to winter hours and will only be open on Sundays.

Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort. All guests receive half-price admission to the museum!

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