When I do holiday shopping I want the person I select a gift for to be as excited about the gift as I am. I guess that is why when I go shopping for others, so many of the gifts end up in my personal collection. I hope this year’s guide will encourage you to shop in smaller businesses and to think outside the box.

Many of us are in a stage in our lives where we don’t necessarily need anything, but it is always nice to have something unusual. One of my first stops was at a store that I patronize often, A Woman’s Touch on Federal Drive in Penn Hills. The store is owned by an African American woman who has been in business for over 10 years. I like going into a store where I am known by name. You may remember this store from their prior locations in Wilkinsburg, Monroeville Mall and Swissvale. I stop in the store frequently to see what’s new. On one of my last visits a new shipment of Michelle Obama purses had arrived. She had them in black and white and full color, they came in a wristlet style ($34.95) and a purse/wallet combination ($59.99). So many people admired our previous first family that they want to display their images on clothing and accessories. Check out the handbags, hats, and the custom made Christmas stockings at A Woman’s Touch and please take some time to look around and see what’s new. The store is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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