Holiday shoppers in Ellicottville will encounter a new business this year. Its can’t-miss location is signaled by two flags, the American and the Canadian, which fly proudly over the red front door. Enter Ameri-Can, located at 11 Washington Street, where an eye-catching and intriguing selection of American and Canadian art, antiques, and apparel awaits you. Proprietor Liz Boberg invites shoppers to explore “the uniqueness of our local artisans mixed with surprises of yester-year” as they look for that one-of-a-kind treasure to give or keep!
If the front door of Ameri-Can looks familiar to you, it should. Most recently, 11 Washington Street was the home of the Red Door Ski Shop, where Boberg worked as manager for 27 years. Throughout her years at the Red Door, Boberg had the privilege of getting to know many families in the village, including seasonal visitors and Canadian friends. During this time, Boberg noticed a common thread in their conversations over the years. According to Boberg, “The idea [for Ameri-Can] came from many customers often asking, ‘Is there anything here made in the USA or Canada?’”
Ameri-Can, which opened on September 1, answers this timely question and so much more. The store features all American and Canadian goods, as well as items made by local artists whose work reflects the uniqueness of the area. The front of the store features beautiful American and Canadian made clothing; whether shoppers are looking for a striking holiday outfit or a comfy EVL fleece jacket, they can find it at Ameri-Can. However, Boberg’s selection of ready-made apparel is not to be overshadowed by the handcrafted accessories created by local artisans. Hand-knitted and crocheted headbands, hats, baby sweaters, and quilted totes are just some of the one-of-a-kind accessories available.
Boberg emphasizes her store’s purpose as a local gallery for artisans and crafters. She features the work of well-known seamstress Anna Linderman, whose forte is repurposed fur and leather items. A stunning display of leather mittens, bags, and drink cozies, as well as fur pillows, throws, and wall-hangings are a testament to the fine craftsmanship of Linderman. Customers also enjoy the work of area artist, John B. Mets, whose well-known photo paintings and Giclee prints capture the essence of the village during the height of ski season. Other fine locally-made items include Hog-Shed Studio Pottery and Molly Rue Natural Soy Candles, which make delightful gifts.
As visitors explore the shop further, they will encounter the Man Cave, Boberg’s homage to all things rugged, rustic, and well, manly! This cozy room features leather bomber-style jackets, authentic cowboy hats, and other men’s apparel. Shoppers can find unique fixtures that would add the perfect touch to any “man cave,” like locally-crafted lamps made from antique typewriters and film projectors. The Man Cave displays the work of award-winning local artist Todd Plough, whose “high-quality oil paintings demonstrate his ability to capture light in nature,” according to Boberg. She points out that many of the breathtaking scenes in Plough’s work are actual portrayals of the area, as Plough is influenced by his time spent in Allegany State Park and the Adirondack region.
Area residents and travelers alike will appreciate one item in particular: a mid-19th century Cattaraugus County Atlas map of the village of Ellicottville. This map, which portrays a much smaller village, includes many buildings on Washington Street that still stand. “It’s really interesting to see what buildings we have now that haven’t been built yet on the map. This map shows an Ellicottville before the railroad was built, and you can even read the names of the original property owners.” Boberg’s shop sells color prints of this interesting map that are matted and ready to frame.
“Ameri-Can is quite a change from what was here before, but the response has been wonderful,” said Boberg, who encourages visitors to check out the new website, www.AmeriCanEllicottville.com or call 716-699-6690. Ameri-Can is open seven days a week from 10am-6pm Monday through Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.