ROSS TWP. — A love of handmade items with an eclectic vibe inspired Becky Mooney and her husband, Kevin, to open Harvest Moon Hollow Country Store in Sweet Valley.
The shop, located at 1842 Route 118, opened in October and carries a treasure-trove of merchandise ranging from hand-poured soy candles; goat milk lotions; yarn, clothing and accessories made from Alpaca fleece; handmade jewelry, pottery and much more.
“I always wanted to have my own store,” Mooney said.
The former social worker attributes her dream-come-true to her husband’s keen eye and foresight.
“The building was abandoned,” Mooney said. “Kevin saw it and shared his vision with me.”
They renovated part of the structure into a retail space and the other section into their residence.
The store offers retail space for local crafters to sell their wares, she said.
“I like to give people a place to sell their crafts,” she said. “There are a lot of talented people out there.”
Store shelves and walls are filled with a variety of vintage country home decor that includes metal stars, Native American Beadwork jewelry, jewelry made from old forks and spoons, bird houses and one-of-a-kind items such as an old-fashioned-looking water spigot that was reinvented as a coat hook.
Standing next to a metal sculpture of two men fishing off the bow of a boat, Mooney said, “I really like the uniqueness of these items,” she said. “This (boat) is made from scrap metal by a man in Plains Township.”
Another attraction to the business is the selection of fleece clothing, accessories and stuffed animals acquired from nearby Alpaca farms.
“Alpaca fleece is as warm as wool, but it doesn’t contain lanolin like wool,” she said. “Some people are allergic to lanolin.”
Stuffed toy bears and Alpacas made from fleece gives customers the opportunity to sink their fingers into the soft, silky fibers.
The couple maintains a small herd of seven Alpacas outside. From their fleece, Mooney has yarn spun that she sells in her shop.
“Visitors can visit the Alpaca herd with an escort,” she said.
Mooney and her husband are more than happy to take customers on a short walk over to the herd for an educational experience. The guardian of the Alpacas, Ulysses, a Maremma Sheepdog, will greet guests with a few loud warning barks if Mooney or her husband are not present.
“Ulysses is their (the Alpacas) protector,” Mooney said. “The Alpacas are very skeptical.”
The community has embraced the new business.
Many customers stop in because they are curious, she said. Once inside, a common customer reaction is “overwhelmed,” she said.
“They are amazed at the amount of stuff we have to offer,” Mooney said. “They like the variety and uniqueness of the merchandise.”