If you're unfamiliar with downtown Hammond, a drive down Hohman Avenue may prove to be surprising. Visitors, and even local residents, will find a beautiful downtown district with great architecture, restaurants, businesses, art galleries and theaters, and more. This past weekend, I visited one of my favorite stores, It's Just Serendipity.

It's Just Serendipity offers an eclectic collection of items, including antiques, collectibles, furniture and home décor, jewelry, vintage clothing and accessories, locally made creations, and one of my favorite things to look through - records. While I wasn't looking for anything specific on this trip, I did come across numerous items that would make great gifts.


One of the most exciting finds was a typewriter in a case. A special someone mentioned in conversation that they wanted a typewriter, and though I've come across a modern one, It's Just Serendipity's would surely make a remarkable gift.

As I moved through the store, I saw a beautiful, amber-colored set of plates, a bowl and cups. Just about anything amber colored brings me back to being a young girl, playing with drink coasters made with amber-colored beads at my great-grandmother's house. That's one thing that is so special about It's Just Serendipity - there is such a variety of items, shoppers will never know what they'll find and how it may trigger a memory or reaction.

Amber-colored bowl and cups

It's Just Serendipity offers many items that allow shoppers to be creative. I stumbled upon some old, crystal-looking door knobs. It's Just Serendipity's owner, Karen Maravilla, and I talked about how they could be made into a fabulous coat rack. It's Just Serendipity also showcases how unexpectedly items can be used - like using smaller luggage to create unique gift baskets for both men and women.

It's Just Serendipity has beautiful displays of holiday décor. When I first entered the store, items were carefully placed on tables that were stacked on each other. With the right imagination, one could say it resembled a Christmas tree! Further into the shop, holiday trinkets, toys and various items were on display.

Holiday DisplayChristmas decor

I didn't end up buying anything before leaving, but I can guarantee that I'll be returning to It's Just Serendipity soon. Karen filled me in on a couple of facts about the store that I hadn't previously known. There is a "wish book" that visitors can write down a specific item they're looking for, and if Karen comes across that item, she'll give them a call. Also, there is some magical room called the "Clearance Cave" that offers discounted items that would make for great repurposing projects. Karen said to watch It's Just Serendipity's Facebook for days the "Clearance Cave" is open.

It's Just Serendipity, located at 5630 Hohman Avenue, is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are happy to stay open later upon request. They set out new items daily, so there is always something new to find! Their holiday hours are as follows: Dec. 4-6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 10-13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 16-20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 22-23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 24.

Be sure to support this small business on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, and every day as you look for great gifts and unique items. Happy hunting!

Contributing Editor: Stacina Stagner
Former communications coordinator with the South Shore CVA.