Christmas is just around the corner! If you still need to purchase gifts for family and friends, a local shop in St. Clair Shores is the perfect stop for the nautical enthusiast on your list. Located on the Nautical Mile, Gifts Afloat is removed from the hustle and bustle of typical holiday shopping. It offers a laid back, personal shopping experience where customer service is the top priority.
As you enter Gifts Afloat, you leave the frosty winter at the door, and are quickly reminded of warm, summer days. This specialty shop has a small town feel, offering exclusive and handmade items that you wouldn’t find in a chain department store. At Gifts Afloat, you can purchase books on maritime heritage, sailboat models, decorative signs and trinkets for your home or cottage. Customers can buy personalized glassware, handmade clocks, ornaments, pillows, clothing, jewelry, nautical art, and so much more! Gifts Afloat also sells food and drink items from northern towns, such as Traverse City, and Sperry Topsiders, a popular brand of boat shoes. Gifts Afloat, which opened in 1976, has grown into a specialty store in which a vast array of nautical gifts, décor, and clothing are sold.
Gifts Afloat is owned by longtime St. Clair Shores resident Donna Flaherty. For much of her life, Donna has been heavily involved in the St. Clair Shores community. She started her career teaching journalism at a St. Clair Shores High School. When she met her husband, they opened a marine surveying business, where Donna became familiar with the industry and the importance of customer service. Throughout the years, Donna’s love for all things nautical grew, and what started as a marine survey business slowly grew into what is now Gifts Afloat.
Donna is extremely passionate about the city of St. Clair Shores and is dedicated to promoting Lake St. Clair and the Nautical Mile. She is on the board of the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative and the St. Clair Shores TIFA Board. She is also the executive director of the Nautical Mile Merchants Association.
Donna’s mission is to provide her customers with the most unique, quality water-related merchandise. She regularly travels to major gift markets throughout the United States to seek out the finest, most fashionable and unique assortment of nautical products. Donna also strives to sell primarily American- and Michigan-made goods.
Gifts Afloat is located at 24601 Jefferson in St. Clair Shores, between 9 and 10 Mile Roads in the heart of the famed Nautical Mile. In the summer, Gifts Afloat is also readily accessible by boat – mooring at nearby marinas. Gifts Afloat invites you to enjoy a small sampling of their merchandise displayed on their website www.giftsafloat.com.
Dec. 23 – 24
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 11a.m. – 5 p.m.
Christmas Eve: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dec. 26 – 27: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dec. 29 – 30: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Jan. 2 – 3: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Amanda Minaudo is an associate planner for the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department.