Shawna’s Christmas Barn offers many handmade holiday items on Fruit Avenue in Medina

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Published on November 11, 2022 at 09:15

MEDINA – Crafts and Christmas are two of Shawna Baldwin’s favorite things, and she’s managed to merge them into a popular hobby and business.

Shawna and her husband Chris live with her parents Bob and Mary Lou Blount on Fruit Avenue, where Shawna grew up loving crafts and Christmas. Her mother taught her to embroider when she was 7 or 8 and to quilt when she was 15.

Over time, Shawna began to become more involved in antiques, collectibles and crafts.

“I’ve always loved making things, especially with dried flowers, and I’ve had shows where I’ve sold a lot of stuff,” Shawna said.

Her first store was Nooks and Crannies in the Baldwin Room of the old Apple Grove in 1991. After she married Chris, they bought Jeddo Mills and restored it to an antique store. Then they had Emma, ​​and Shawna wanted to stay home and raise her daughter, so she started supplying gift shops with dried flowers and folk art, and they sold Jeddo Mills.

“I needed a workshop, so we built this barn,” Shawna said.

This glass of milk and cookie for Santa looks real enough to eat. It’s one of many gifts from Shawna Baldwin’s Christmas barn, which opens today. Richard Monica holds one of his artificial Christmas cakes, which he sells in Shawna Baldwin’s Christmas barn on Fruit Avenue, along with many unique items.

Emma was growing up and Shawna went to work full time, while continuing to make crafts. She bought the Whole Nine Yards on Main Street in Medina, but when the economy deteriorated and the price of cotton doubled, she closed the store and went to work at Lynoaken Farms, cooking, packing apples and managing the gift shop.

“The barn became a playhouse for Emma and her friends,” Shawna said.

Around this time, Shawna began supplying crafts to Julie Fenton of the Between the Vines shop. When the opportunity arose to take on a labor relations position at BOCES in Niagara-Orléans, she was hired.

Shawna Baldwin received an early birthday present when her husband Chris drove this restored 1954 International truck through their yard.

This gave her the perfect opportunity to sell her crafts at their annual craft show with Richard Monica, former owner of Albion Antiques and Christmas Shop and buyer at Ridge Road station. Monica, who is a retired art teacher from Spencerport, now lends her creative genius to Shawna’s Christmas barn.

In 2020, due to Covid-19, BOCES canceled its annual craft show and Shawna decided to do it safely, with a limited number of customers wearing masks, in her barn. Customers came, and it was very successful, she says. News of his barn had spread and customers came from as far away as Oswego and Baldwinsville.

“Last year was even bigger and we realized we had no more room,” Shawna said. “Last summer we hired Sam Barber to add to the barn. I realize I can sell my merchandise online, but Richard and I want the personal contact with people. light up and hear their gasps when they see what we have.

Chris and Shawna, with the help of family and friends, have completed the barn, which is now 2/3 larger than it was.

“Our 30th wedding anniversary was this year and we were going to Scotland,” Shawna said. “But when it came to going to Scotland or building a bigger barn, we built a bigger barn.”

“You can’t create that old world feeling in a modern building,” Chris said.

Shawna begins planning her Christmas inventory in February. Much of the merchandise is handcrafted, such as Monica’s wooden arch and animals, as well as her handmade (not real) Christmas cakes and puddings.

Pieces of scrap wood left over from building the barn were fashioned into small villages, churches, lanterns and ornaments by Chris. They have already bought fresh trees, from which Shawna makes wreaths and garlands.

Shawna continues to sew and embroider Christmas items, make wool rugs and crochet popcorn garlands, but her favorite is calligraphy, and many wall hangings are the result of her talent.

Antiques in the store include a 1700s mahogany bed frame and a 1700s cradle.

His goal is to have tie-dying and wreath-making classes and to develop a “Santa’s Trail” of area holiday shops.

“That’s what I want to retire to one day,” Shawna said.

Chris Baldwin made this church from scraps of wood left over from their Christmas barn addition.

She thinks all the craft and holiday stores in the area complement each other.

His barn will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 11, 12, 18, 19 and Dec. 2 and 3; and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on November 13, 20 and December 4. They are closed on Thanksgiving weekend so families can spend the holidays together.

Any leftover merchandise after Dec. 4 will be boxed up and saved for next year, but Shawna said last year they sold it all out. She is already planning bigger and better things for next year.

Her barn features one-of-a-kind designs, vintage ornaments and antiques, handmade ornaments and decorations, angels, snowmen and Santas, and cool wreaths and garlands.

A special attraction was added to the scenery on Wednesday morning. Shawna and Richard were carrying more decorations and goods into the barn, when an old antique truck came up the road and stopped on the lawn in front of the barn.

It was Chris in a 1954 International pickup they owned that hadn’t been driven in a year. Unbeknownst to Shawna, he and a friend have been working to restore it to working order, and Chris surprised Shawna with it for her birthday on November 15.

“I had no idea he was doing that,” Shawna said.

Shawna’s barn address is 3502 Fruit Ave., just north of School No. 10 Road.