Although Hoot and Howl \u2013 an eclectic and charming shop on the corner of Walnut and Spruce streets in Morgantown \u2013 opened about a month ago, I only checked it out last week, and ended up stopping in four times since.\r\nThe first time I visited, I left feeling excited; I wanted to tell all the makers I know to hurry in with their wares.\r\nThe second time I visited, I left with all natural and handmade grapefruit scented silky smooth body butter.\r\nThe third time I visited, I sat down and interviewed shop owner Stephanie Swaim and became even more fond of the shop.\r\nThe fourth time I visited, I was excited to see all the new items Stephanie already had. She told me she stocks new items every day \u2013 works from new artisans, restocking items from current artisans and antiques.\r\nThe shop is stocked with handmade gifts (from ceramics to jewelry to macrame to personal care products) from about 25 artisans \u2014 about 90 percent of them local. The remaining items are USA made, with the exception of a few handmade things.\r\nStephanie is among the artisans. \u201cI started making jewelry about 15 years ago,\u201d Stephanie said, adding that she didn\u2019t much like her first works, but she was supported and encouraged by her mother and friends.\r\n\u201cI started to experiment more and expand my craft,\u201d she said. Now, her work has a vintage feel, particularly in the colors she uses. She described her work as \u201ceclectic for sure.\u201d\r\nInspired by her experience as a maker and by a friend opening a similar shop in Virginia, Stephanie said she wanted to open Hoot and Hollow for a while. When the space became available, she jumped from her corporate job into this new adventure quickly.\r\nWanting to open the shop by student move-in at the beginning of August, she, her mother and a friend painted walls and installed new flooring in a single weekend, set up merchandise the following week and opened the doors the next Saturday.\r\n\u201cThis is an outlet for people to bring their work and share it with the city,\u201d Stephanie said. \u201cWe have work from people just starting out,\u201d she said. She enjoys seeing them grow and learn as artisans. \u201cIt\u2019s super cool and rewarding.\u201d\r\nDelighted by the number of people who came in and talked to her about their creations, Stephanie said she enjoys learning more about the makers\u2019 community. \u201cI knew we had a lot of artisans here, but \u2014 wow!\u201d she said.\r\nShe\u2019s still looking for more handmade items to stock in Hoot and Hollow and encourages artisans to email her photos of their work. She\u2019ll see if their work fits into her shop without creating competition within the store or with fellow downtown merchants.\r\n\u201cWe aren\u2019t creating any competition, it\u2019s all community,\u201d she said.\r\nGoing forward Stephanie plans to not only increase her stock of handmade items, but also \u201cto do small classes, where people can learn something new.\u201d\r\nShe said learning a hand craft is not only fun, it can also create confidence and pride and preserve skills that our society is rapidly losing. Stephanie also said that more artisans would \u201chelp make the world better.\u201d\r\nPersonally, I totally agree with Stephanie. Making things can change your mindset \u2014 when I\u2019m in creating mode, I have far less interest in buying mass produced things and end up spending my dollars on handmade items \u2014 not only enriching my own life, but also directly impacting the local economy.\r\nIf you haven\u2019t already, I recommend stopping in to Hoot and Hollow \u2014 multiple times.