Monkitree #ThinkGardinerFirst

“It takes a long time for people to walk through a door of business that they’re unfamiliar with. All you can do is provide the best service that you can and provide quality products. Over time with word of mouth and people receiving gifts and wondering where the gift came from, customers build. What I would love to have happen is for everyone, when a new business opens in Gardiner, to walk through the door and introduce yourself. You know, let them know that you’re happy they’re there. We now have a proper downtown shopping and restaurant district and people are coming to Gardiner for this downtown. I have customers from towns all around the region and they’re so happy to be able to come here and do multiple things in one trip.

I think one of the things that we’re seeing now is people are doing more online shopping because it’s easy and because they don’t want to have to go to stores. So we’re seeing a couple companies making a lot of money right now and those companies are not in our community, which means they’re not serving on boards of local organizations like Gardiner Main Street. They’re not on city committees, they’re not volunteering in the community, they’re not donating to the community and so by supporting small local businesses this year you are going to keep them around and you’re going to keep them volunteering and supporting your own community.

Right now the challenge is not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s hard to plan for things. I’m unsure what my holiday season’s going to look like. Small Business Saturday is usually my biggest day and I can currently have five people in the store given the space. It is going to mean that people can’t shop as a family so I’m going to do my best to make sure I can make appointments with those people who want to shop with their children and families. For people who are concerned about their own health, they can come in when it’s only me in the store and we can keep separation if they need that. Also, I am willing to make appointments with people who are unable to wear masks because they can’t be in the store when other customers are here. I would love for people to take me up on that because I’m more than happy to do it. I encourage people to get in touch with me so they can have essentially the store to themselves.”

Starting December 1st, Monkitree will be open every day through Christmas Eve. Clare is also currently hosting the Holiday Pottery Shop with beautiful pieces from a variety of artisans. Be sure to visit Clare, along with other Water Street retailers, this Small Business Saturday and throughout the shopping season for your gifting needs. #ThinkGardinerFirst You can connect with Clare through Facebook (@monkitree), Instagram (@ ClareAtMonkitree), her website (, email (, phone (207-512-4679), or by stopping in the store at 263 Water Street in Gardiner.