Work & Business
Swedish Antiques, Gifts Galore at KlaradalNovember 28, 2016
Looking for some unique gifts or housewares for the holidays?
Sue Kopperman’s shop of Swedish and Scandinavian treasures – Klaradal – has everything from traditional Dala horses and handmade jewelry to Swedish candies, woven textiles and more. Located in Olney, Md., the antiques and gift shop is a short drive from Washington, D.C., and features an online store.
Kopperman and her husband Peter were introduced to Swedish culture on a side trip during the process of adopting their son from Estonia. The Koppermans fell in love with the people and traditions they discovered during their first visit to Stockholm and have continued to vacation in Sweden with their son ever since.
Klaradal opened 14 years ago, the inspiration for the name coming from Peter Kopperman’s country house near Gnesta, Sweden. The business originally started by selling furniture from Sweden but has since transitioned into much more.
“I really got into antiquing for the first time as a hobby,” Kopperman said. “The space that I bought to sell our items required that we only sell antiques. I had already stored antiques from previous Stockholm visits, so it seemed like a perfect fit.”
When perusing the repurposed 1878 farmhouse storefront or Klaradal’s online store, it’s clear that each item has been handpicked for its unique craftsmanship and design. All items sold at Klaradal are collected during yearly visits to Sweden or at Scandinavian gift shows.
“I visit Sweden two times a year for two weeks and just drive all around looking for antique shops there,” Kopperman said. “I also participate in a lot of auctions at many Swedish auction houses that I have befriended over the years, occasionally go to the Stockholm Gift Shop every three years to find some new items and visit gift shows in cities like New York, Atlanta and Minneapolis.”
Customers can enjoy samples of glogg and ginger snaps in the store as the weather grows colder and should look forward to traditional saffron rolls that will be served in December for the Feast of Lucia.
The shop’s best sellers are Klippan felt purses and throw blankets, Ekelund Eco dishcloths and loomed linens, colorful and cozy mittens made from recycled Swedish and Norwegian sweaters, and Bengt & Lotta whimsical ironwork.
Kopperman always encourages people who don’t know what to get someone for the holidays to give a functional gift like a cutting board and spreader, with a jar of lingonberry preserves or Danish honey.
“They could even add an Ekelund dishcloth depending on how much they want to spend,” she said. “We also sell a lot of Scandinavian soaps and lotions that people love to use; they make wonderful gifts.”
Klaradal offers a happy and calming environment where “a lot of people like to come in to talk about their heritage,” Kopperman said.
“It’s nice to speak with someone who may be a fourth-generation Swede about little memories of what their great grandmother used to make or cook, which they are reminded of by the items and atmosphere in the store.”
Klaradal, located at 16644 Georgia Ave. in Olney, Md., is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Klaradal website.