Rustic Mama’s: Lots of local talent for sale | Way of life

There is a new gift shop in the town of Crystal River called Rustic Mama’s that features handmade arts and crafts created by various talented local county artists and artisans.

This shop offers many choices from home decor, homemade candles, bath and body items, hand-sewn leather handbags, artistically designed coasters, cute mermaids and fish colours, a selection of jewellery, clothing and much more.

The owners, Chance and Amanda Vanmatre, create the candles and buttery bath and body products themselves. They first moved here from Pinellas County.

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After years of settling into festivals, various markets and wholesaling, their dream was to own their own shop that was overflowing with products from talented artists and artisans that they purchased directly for their new shop.

“We opened November 28, 2021, after Thanksgiving this year,” said Chance Vanmatre. “In addition to the products we make, we source other homemade items for our store from local county sources.”

“It’s a lot of freedom (to have your own shop) and it represents who we are, atmospheres, colors and visual expression,” he said.

As customers walk in, Chance smiles and asks if this is their first time in the store. Then he responds with “take your time looking around and the sniffles are free”.

Rustic Mama’s has many original works of art and quality handmade items made by locals from three counties. A colorful variety of hats and t-shirts are also on display.

“Store products change daily as we are always on the lookout for new trends,” Chance said.

Amanda Vanmatre added, “It’s good to meet people from the community. We help other artists and artisans by purchasing their homemade products and we also donate to non-profit organizations.

Rustic Mama’s is located across from Big Lots, next to El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant at 441 NE First Terrace in Crystal River. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday. Call them at 352-794-3555.

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