Bennington’s Hawkins House Observes 40th Anniversary
When founder Ron Spivak first opened the Hawkins House at 262 North Street in 1977, Jimmy Carter was President, a new car cost $4,785, a loaf of bread went for 36 cents, gas was 65 cents a gallon, and Vermont had more cows than people. This year, the Bennington landmark is observing its 40th anniversary during American Craft Week, which runs through October 15.
American Craft Week began as a small, grassroots effort to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of handmade craft. Now in its sixth year, American Craft Week is a well-established national event – and a logical time for Hawkins House to celebrate, joined by their partners at Four Corners North, Bennington Potters and Catamount Glass, who will be offering free factory tours and a free raffle to win a set of gift certificates and products worth over $200.
Hawkins House has over 3,200 square feet of retail space, making it a haven for browsers, says owner Elizabeth Ganger. “We have the work of hundreds of artisans, including an exceptional selection of handcrafted jewelry. The Hawkins House crafts market has grown over the years to include two historic buildings with a modern expansion. The additional space has allowed us to add new lines, including a whole new section for Retrendz, a collection of new and gently used clothing.”
Hawkins House is well known as the place to shop for handcrafted jewelry; other products include blown glass, pottery, books and cards, handbags, scarves, woodenware, decorative candles, toys, games and more. As a second generation family business, Hawkins House is proud of its 40-year history. The secret of their success? “Customer service,” says Ganger. “We love our customers and we do everything possible to reward (them) for their business. One way is by offering free gift-wrapping, another is the Frequent Buyer Program; simply sign up and get three percent back on your purchases all year long.”