A ‘Winter Wonderland’: Fiddlestix transforms for the holiday season By Carly McFadden

As seen in Holiday Shop 2024.

Fiddlestix Mercantile doesn’t just offer great giftables to its clientele — it redefines the entire shopping experience.

Offering fresh flowers, freshly baked bread and giftables, Fiddlestix Mercantile reimagines the shopping experience. Photos courtesy of Sarah Keefer.

Sarah Keefer opened Fiddlestix in August 2022 in New Oxford, Pennsylvania, with two friends, combining all three owners’ design and decorating styles.

“We all had a different vision and brought our visions together,” Keefer said. “After seeing an open storefront, all three of us fell in love and went a little crazy excited, making things happen with our visions and dreams. We pulled our store together in about 60 days.”

Fiddlestix sources products from both wholesale and local artisans, with more than 40 local artists featured in-store. The store also offers a fresh- cut flower bar, baked goods and a rustic garden shed with plants, pots and accessories to elevate
customers’ visits.

“What we were wanting was a place that people could come and find literally everything they were looking for, from bath and body products to home décor to snacks and home-baked goods,” Keefer said. “We really wanted something that you had come to see, touch, feel and smell right in one spot under one roof. There was nothing like it in the area within an hour radius of us, so we wanted to just bring that here. It just exploded into this huge, amazing thing.”


Fiddlestix begins to put out holiday décor mid-October, with the full, grand transition taking place just before Thanksgiving — and its owners spare no effort in entering Christmas mode.

Fiddlestix complements its elaborate displays with holiday events designed to bring the community together. Photo courtesy of Sarah Keefer.

“We actually turn the store into what we call a winter wonderland, so it’s like you’re walking into this huge Christmas display,” Keefer said. The store displays about 15 Christmas trees, each donned in a different festive theme.

“For one, we might have all the woodsy items, and then we may have another tree that has all the golds and the blacks and a little bit of white thrown into it,” Keefer explained. “We try to keep everything looking a little different so that when you’re walking through the store, you have different ideas and options based on that theme or look.”

Keefer estimated that 90% of shoppers who come in during the holidays are looking to buy gifts, so the Fiddlestix team incorporates giftables into their holiday displays.

“When you are shopping in our displays, not only do we have it decorated beautifully for the theme, but we will have specific gift items handmade in those areas that you can pick up,” she said. “It’s as simple as bath salts and fuzzy socks that have been wrapped up beautifully and packaged nicely, or it could be the homemade food items.”

Additionally, Fiddlestix revamps its entire plant and garden area. It brings in wintry, holiday plants with red, green and gold pots that double as Christmas decorations, creating a magical, festive destination for plant lovers.

“The entire windows in our plant bar have twinkle lights in them, which actually draw from the outside as well, not only the inside of a store,” Keefer said. “It takes us about four days to do it, so it looks nothing like it would on a regular basis.”


Fiddlestix finds elation in bringing the community together through its weekly events year-round, but the store ups the ante when the holiday season arrives, bringing Christmas cheer to the neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Keefer.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Fiddlestix hosts countless holiday events, such as a Santa and hot cocoa bar night, fresh pine wreath-making workshop and Grinch night. A top holiday event for the store is its kids’ shopping night, where parents drop off their kids and give the Fiddlestix team a shopping list with an envelope of money that the children are allowed to spend.

“Those are some fun ways to also bring new clientele into the store and make a fun experience,” Keefer said.

The Fiddlestix team brings above-and-beyond effort to the store during the holidays, giving shoppers a magical reprieve from the stress that comes with the holiday hustle and bustle while embracing the season fully.

“We are focused on providing a healthy, exciting and energetic experience for the people in south central Pennsylvania,” Keefer concluded.

Carly McFadden

Carly McFadden is the editorial director of Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and Lawn & Garden Retailer.

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