When it comes to holiday shopping, or even shopping for ourselves, we are all looking for that perfect gift – something individual that doesn’t break the bank. Gean & Olive, one of downtown Oakland’s newest and most unique venues, offers that and more!
Owned by Garrett County native Chelsea Stuck, Gean & Olive is the realization of a long-held pipe dream — to own and operate a retail store. Located at 214 E. Alder Street, Gean & Olive highlights Chelsea’s three passions — Food, Fashion, and Fun! She curates unique gift items and stocks only merchandise that she would purchase for a friend or love to receive herself.
Many products in the boutique are created by female artists and designers and are sourced locally. At Gean & Olive you will find a variety of unique and affordable gifts for just about everyone on your shopping list. Chelsea looks for items that are “simple, affordable and one of a kind. “I always wanted this to be a place where a shopper can come in and get a gift for $20 or less and feel like it did not come from a box store.”
Have a foodie on your shopping list? Gean & Olive carries unique items for the kitchen, and you’ll find some flavorful choices as well. From beer infused or Asian Sriracha Hot Sauce and booze infused BBQ sauce to snacks like Whiskey Fire or Bourbon Glazed Pecans, there’s something here to love for everyone. Cooks will also enjoy the unique flavored spices to add a little punch to dinnertime. The Wasabi Sea Salt and Herbed Truffle Seasoning are sure to make your holiday dishes pop.
Craft cocktails are all the rage, and Chelsea offers fun cocktail mixes to create your own at home. She sells simple syrups and tonics, flavored cubes for champagne, Infusion kits and more that allow you and your holiday guests can have a chance to taste different combinations of flavors. There is also a nice line of hot toddy, sangria and mulled wine spices — perfect for those cold winter nights.
With her background in the food service industry, Chelsea loves all things tabletop…fun little accents that make each table unique. She offers beautiful clay bowls made by a manufacturer from Wheeling, WV, in addition to fun cheese boards, pinch bowls and several beautiful wood carved cutting boards. She also has a line of unique glasses, mugs and serving dishes.
Chelsea came by her love of food naturally. She grew up cooking and baking with her grandmother Gene and Aunt Olive. In addition to being the inspiration and namesake for her store, these two strong women were the backbone of her. One of Chelsea’s favorite memories is making homemade candy with them every Christmas to give as gifts. Their specialties were hard tack and caramel, and as Chelsea’s career took off, she was well known for whipping up several batches each season to give as gifts to her clients and co-workers.
She continues the tradition to this day and had fun last year tweaking the flavors. She promises some tasty combinations for her candies this year. They will be available for sale in the shop sometime in mid-November and are available for pre-order now. Flavors include Original Salted, Chocolate Cake, Birthday Cake, Sesame & Honey, Dark Chocolate Hazelnut and Maple Bourbon Crunch. “It took on a life of its own,” says Chelsea. “I would love to see it expand to a full-time operation down the road.”
Fashion is another of Chelsea’s passions, and she loves accessorizing her look so at Gean & Olive you’ll find one of a kind jewelry pieces that are not only beautiful but support women artists around the world. Jewelry includes pieces made from handcrafted beads from India and uncommon pieces made from old skis. All the pieces are beautiful, colorful, and fun.
In addition to jewelry, Chelsea offers seasonal clothing for sale. Building on her love of comfortable clothing that makes women feel beautiful and empowered, you’ll find cover ups, cute dresses, shawls and scarves…items that add a pop of color but won’t break the bank. She also offers apparel from three local women owned businesses, “For the Love of Deep Creek”, Deep Creek Times and Little Mountain Promotions.
If you need a little pampering yourself this holiday season, check out Gean & Olive’s line of candles, bath salts and scrubs. You will also find products from local vendor Sky Valley Bees and their beautiful hand-crafted soaps made from their own honey and goat’s milk.
Chelsea also offers custom pre-made gift bags which make a perfect Hostess or client gift. One of her most popular initiatives last year was her corporate gift program, where she and her staff curated their most popular items within a set budget for business owners to give to their employees and clients. “We used custom developed products, showcased our vendors, and allowed business leaders a chance to gift something totally unique.”
Chelsea is very thankful for the support from the community in allowing her to do something a little different. She invites you to stop by the shop this season or to visit their online store for your gift giving needs. Located at www.geanandolive.com, you’ll find about 75% of the items she carries in the store also featured online. You can even order online and have it set aside for pick up during normal store hours.
Gean & Olive will be open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 – 4 and Sunday from 11 – 3 through Christmas.