Windsong Woods Gift Shop and Greenhouse opened Saturday, June 4 in Walpole. Previous owner Elizabeth Kellett and her twin sister, Virginia Lichtman, resurrected the gift shop after it was closed for more than 20 years.
The gift shop is filled with various homemade crafts, dried herbs, seedlings, jewelry, and antiques. Kellett and Lichtman will also host events and classes on crafting, gardening, and herb use as the summer season progresses.
The craft classes were a big hit with the original gift shop, said Kellett and Lichtman.
“People come to Maine and want that (natural) experience. And they want something to take home to remember it,” said Kellett.
Kellett first ran the gift shop, originally Windsong Herbs and Gardens, with her late husband, Jeff. After his passing in 2012, she found new purpose in life by running a bird and wildlife sanctuary out of her home. Proceeds from the gift shop will support the sanctuary.
The sanctuary started accidentally, Kellett said, when she received a call from a friend who was concerned that a parrot was being neglected by a recently widowed older woman. Knowing Kellett to be an animal lover, the friend reached out.
Word spread after Kellett took in Bosco, the 28-year-old double yellow headed Amazon, and soon Kellett was receiving calls from all over about unwanted or neglected birds.
Kellett said the problem is a lot of people don’t understand how much work goes into raising the birds.
“They’re like children. People get these birds and leave them alone all day long and wonder why they cry and scream,” said Kellett. “It’s like adopting a child that will never grow up.” She now has rescued seven large birds, a small flock of society finches, hens, and a rooster. Her experience has even driven her to write a book, “The Feathered Road: A Path to Healing” which she hopes to have published by the end of the summer.
Proceeds from the gift shop will go to the care and costs of the sanctuary.
Lichtman, who moved up to Maine from Maryland over a year ago, worked in retail for about 30 years. She used her experience to create the appealing array of displays throughout the small gift shop.
“I’m looking forward to opening again and seeing old clients as well as meeting new ones,” said Kellett.
Windsong Woods Gift Shop and Greenhouse is located at 26 Windsong Way in Walpole. The gift shop is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the gift shop and its feathered “team members,” go to windsongwoods.com.