OSWEGO, NY – A lifetime Oswego resident, Tricia Buck was given the opportunity to take over ownership for a downtown store she worked at part-time.
Leaving her 19 year career, Buck purchased what is now A Touch of Grace Inspirational and Everyday Gifts in August 2015 and never looked back.
“I just love being able to promote positivity,” Buck said of owning her own business. “This is a store that is able to bring in anyone who has never experienced anything Christian without being pushy. Whether you’re looking for something to fulfill a religious need or not, I love being able to supply people with the things they need and want.”
Located at 171 West First Street in Oswego, it was previously owned as a Christian book store. Buck now finds herself looking for ways to make the public aware that the gift shop as opened now is not aimed at only religious needs and offers plenty more than books.
The shop has a total of 12 vendors that sell handmade products with a possibility of more in the near future as well as carrying greeting cards and brand name gifts, such as Willow Tree figurines.
“We do much more than we are known for, we really appeal to everyone,” said Buck.
Moving forward after completion of schooling at Oswego High School, Buck went on to graduate from college in Ohio with a degree in Mental Health and Human Services and started her career and a family with her husband, now with three children.
After working two and a half years for the store under prior ownership, Buck couldn’t turn down the opportunity to own the store for herself and continue doing what she loves and helping to support the local economy.
So, in September of 2015 Tricia Buck cut the ribbon to officially open her new store, A Touch of Grace Inspirational and Everyday Gifts and dedicated it to her father, who passed away a year ago and was one of Buck’s biggest supporters.
With no prior business owning experience, Buck continued to work at OCO for four months before she left her career to be able to fully invest her time into the store.
“It’s a lot different, going from working the store to owning it. It’s time consuming, but I have a very supportive husband who has been my main support, along with my mom and I just really enjoy doing it,” said Buck.
Located near senior living facilities, Buck ensures her business will always remain highly accessible for all walks of life so anyone and everyone can easily and comfortably move throughout her shop including those confined to wheelchairs or in use of walkers or carrying young ones in strollers.
Buck also prides herself on providing high quality, hand crafted products from herself and local vendors that will satisfy customers of all ages.
One of the kid friendly vendors that sell through A Touch of Grace are Tails and Tales, LLC.
An independent publisher, Tails and Tales is a collections of children’s books written, illustrated and published locally, based out of Fulton.
Some of the books are real-life accounts of local pet adoption stories and are sold with a matching stuffed animal, a big hit for children’s gifts Buck says.
60% of all sales from Tails and Tales goes to Paws Across Oswego County, a local non-profit animal rescue.
Other vendors in A Touch of Grace include local photographer, Rocco Saya with Celestial Blue Photography who specializes in local landscape photography, as well as photography, handmade trinket boxes and souvenirs by Robert Gehan, Oswego native and brother of current owner, Tricia Buck.
Judy Johnson of the Stitchin’ Sisters makes crocheted gifts and handmade stuffed animals while her sister, Sandy Johnson makes handmade bears and blankets.
Phyllis Peck of The Phyllis Flair sells handmade purses, tooth fairy pillows and cards and Maria’s Fabric and Fiber, by Maria Pizzuti, sells a lot of handmade items geared at children like toys and puzzle animals.
Debra Allen makes all the machine embroidered gifts in the shop including ornaments and frames among many others, Tristy Barlow makes beautiful ruffle scarves, and Sandy White-Falcetti of Sandy’s Handmade Designs sells handmade wreaths throughout the store as well as accepting special orders.
Amanda Cali makes rosaries for confirmation and Denise Dooley of Denise’s Crystal Delights makes all the jewelry by hand for sale at A Touch of Grace.
Buck says, “this is a great place where we are able to showcase people’s talents while also selling local to make money and keep money right here in our community.”
Almost every vendor as well as Buck herself make special order items for any customer who sees something that they like but would like to put their own spin on it.
She urges anyone who is seeking any first communion, confirmation or baptism needs to visit her store for everything they would need at a great price while also supporting the local community.
Currently, Buck is running clearance specials at Touch of Grace for hand made communion and confirmation dresses and has everything necessary to be paired with the dress for that special day including jewelry, purses, rosaries, bibles and devotionals, cards, gifts and more.
She also offers store promotions such as birthday club, a frequent shopper card and a refer a friend card that all offer discounts.
As a downtown location, Buck hopes to bring more awareness to the local business on the other side of Rt. 104 in the downtown area.
“There’s not much attention brought to this side of downtown as it’s generally more focused on the Canal Commons area. I made a proposal to bring a name to this side of the street to draw more attention this way. Things like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that went right by our businesses, that was wonderful and I’d like to see more of that,” said Buck.
She thinks the more attention brought to the entire downtown region, the better.
“I’m all for getting people to explore the local places downtown. A large percentage of all sales made to local businesses stay in the local community, so I’ve always felt if you’re going to spend it, you might as well do it where it will stay in your community,” said Buck.
She believes the same goes on a national level, trying to actively seek and buy products exclusively made in the United States.
As for the future? Bucks says she plans to “continue seeking out more creative items and providing that local, unique touch for my customers of every age group and every taste. There’s truly something for everyone.”
For more information on location, contact, and hours of operations, visit A Touch of Grace Inspirational and Everyday Gifts on Facebook or call the store at (315) 216-4489.