Swart opens Snowdog, an eclectic gift shop in Brookings

By Marge Woodfin, Pilot staff writer May 15, 2010 06:00 am

A visitor to Snowdog, Diane Swart’s eclectic gift shop at 1105 Chetco Ave., will be greeted by two magnificent Siberian huskies, no doubt the reason for the shop’s name. A visitor need not worry about being greeted too enthusiastically. The dogs don’t jump up, bark, or try to lick hands. Mishka and Nukka are calm, quiet, unobtrusive, and beautiful.

Swart, who described her shop as filled with “primitive country antiques and collectibles, a bit of new a bit of old,” said she chose the huskies because, “I wanted dogs that wanted to exercise with me, and I surely got that. They’re a lot of fun.”

She admitted that it is definitely necessary to make sure that her canine companions get plenty of exercise, which is good for her as well.

Swart, who works three days a week as an emergency room nurse at Sutter Coast Hospital, welcomes visitors to her shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and sometimes on Monday.

“I’ve wanted to have a little shop like this for years,” she said. She explained that she came from South Africa in 1989. “I vacationed a lot here in the 80s, and as a nurse, I could migrate. I am grateful to live in this country.”

She first settled in Southern California, working as a travel nurse on 13-week contracts, which allowed her to visit areas from New Hampshire to Colorado. She was considering settling in Colorado when she found Brookings.

“I like small towns and wide open spaces,” she said. “I came to Brookings and said, ‘Oh, this would be perfect for me.’”

While looking for just the right shop she popped into the Northgate Center where she found other small shops and just the right ambiance.

“This is a great group – Susie, Dottie, Linda and Ruth,” she said about the owners of the other shops in the complex, Seaside Peddler, Dottie’s Corner, Natosha’s Trading Co., and Glassic Designs.” She quickly added, “And the fragrance from the bakery doesn’t hurt.”

Swart said they are thinking about a new name for the group of specialty shops. “We want this to be a little gift destination, a mini mall,” she said, and added that they are also planning to have sidewalk sales on the first Saturday of each month.

“I love this business because I can indulge my passion for shopping and not feel guilty, she said.”

She added that she is looking forward to meeting more new friends to introduce them to an amazing collection of primitive country antiques and collectibles – and Mishka and Nukka.

Call Swart at 541-469-5061.