As Christmas approaches, many are trying to find ways to have an intimate and meaningful holiday while still being safe in the pandemic. Sending personalized gifts is one way that friends and family can give thoughtful gifts this year, and an English teacher at Winnacunnet High School has a business that can help people do just that.
“Little Pins Shop” sells vintage-inspired clothespin ornaments and are made by Winnacunnet’s own Chellis Kirkland. She makes the ornaments inspired by popular characters such as Buddy the Elf, Freddie Mercury and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“I make them out of felt and a glue gun and pretty much anything I can find. A lot of the stuff I use is repurposed from something else or my kid’s old Lego mini figures,” Kirkland said.
Kirkland also makes personalized ornaments for her customers. The customer can send in a picture to her and she can create the ornaments to look like the picture, a popular feature of her Etsy shop.
Donna Couture, the Director of Extended Learning at Winnacunnet has been a customer of Kirkland’s for a few years. Couture said that she was “excited" when she found out about Kirkland’s ornaments.
“I keep putting orders in every year,” Couture said. “You can buy ornaments off the shelf, but she takes such great care to make them special and unique and detailed.”
Winnacunnet senior Morgan Kelley has Kirkland as her Warrior Block teacher and witnessed Kirkland creating ornaments first hand.
“People should buy Mrs.Kirkland’s ornaments because she works very hard on them,” Kelley said. “They are amazing gifts that also support a small business and teacher in our community.”
This year, Kirkland said her business is blowing up and she thinks the pandemic may be to blame with people looking to buy local.
“I had a ton of orders over Thanksgiving break. More than I’ve ever had in that short amount of time,” Kirkland said. “I made more money at the one craft fair I did this year than I used to at two craft fairs in years past.”
Kirkland’s ornaments range in price from $14 for an individual to $84 for a set and can be purchased online through her Etsy shop.
Courtesy photo - Chellis Kirkland
Kirkland made ornaments for her Warrior Block class representing each student.