For a small town, Clare has some interesting stops within its downtown area. Cops & Doughnuts is probably the most widely known establishment with its wide assortment of baked goods, police-related paraphernalia and clothing line. However, there are also some nice restaurants (Herrick House and Doherty Hotel to name only two), an art gallery with first-class art (515 Gallery), a couple of antique stores (including one that is accessed through a barbershop) and an arts & crafts consignment shop for local artisans called Made With Loving Hands.
Now, I’m not a big shopper. Aside from sporting good and hardware stores, I like resale shops–at least in small doses. I simply like to get in, buy what I need, and get out. With that said, I must admit that I have become a big fan of Made With Loving Hands. It’s selection of handcrafted items makes you realize that we have a large pool of talented people in mid-Michigan. Items in the store range from paintings and photographs to various items made of wood to candles and frilly fabricy items (sorry, but I didn’t pay too much attention to those latter items).
I stroll through the shop whenever I am in Clare. I don’t spend a huge amount of time or money for that matter. My purchases have included a birdhouse that looks like an acorn, along with a couple of small handmade wooden bowls (I fill them with $1 coins and give them away birthday gifts to my kids). A future purchase will include a three-panel painting of old gnarled trees should the lottery gods smile on me or I find a lot of extra dollars in discretionary income (the painting is $300).
The store is a great way to support our local artists and our local community, not to mention a great way to find some one-of-a-kind item for your home or business. Now the town of Clare may never be another Petoskey or Charlevoix but it’s not trying to be. It’s also never going to be another Mackinac City or Gatlinburg and that’s a good thing.. Clare is just a good old town in mid-Michigan and Made With Loving Hands is one of the reasons.
Made With Loving Hands is located at 509 North McEwan, south of the traffic light and on the west side of the street (same side as Cops & Doughnuts). Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/MadeWithLovingHands