As one heads down Main Street
Moab, about midway through the block between 100 North and
Center on the west side of Main, a little shop stands with
open doors inviting customers to enter its immaculate, ornate
doorway. A single plant on a decorative plant stand adorns
each side of the walkway leading up to the main entrance.
Etched in the concrete at the threshold of the door, a hand
crafted sun, splashed with color, extends both inside and
out of the entryway. Inside, the shop is bustling with activity.
This is no ordinary day. It is the beginning of Easter weekend
with Jeep Safari in full swing. The lady behind the counter
can be overheard visiting with a patron from Wisconsin,
just passing through unsuspectingly during one of the very
busiest weekends of the year in this desert hideaway on
scene is not uncommon in a town that caters to tourists,
nor is this shop vastly different from the many other shops
that line Moab’s Main Street. This particular shop
is the home of Desert Sun Gifts, owned by Nate and Jacque
Knight, but there’s no question but what this is Jacque’s
baby. On this particular day, Jacque can be seen hustling
around the shop setting out merchandise and visiting with
customers. She greets each patron warmly, smiling as she
goes about her activities. “I love to shop,”
states Jacque. “I try to have something for everyone.”
The pride she takes in this business is everywhere evident.
It was selected for the Beautification Award from the Moab
Area Chamber of Commerce for the Month of April 2003.
From high end artwork to moderately priced children’s
toys and sundry gifts, the shop is packed with a veritable
feast of goods including a wide selection of jewelry (Native
American pieces and others), pottery, candles, glass ornaments,
metal arts, handbags, clothing, footwear, hats, natural
soaps and many other unique gift ideas, keepsakes and knickknacks.
Among Jacque’s favorites are her lines of Kathy Clooney
artwork and stationary as well as the sequined, beaded handbags
in various motifs. Other lines include such brands as Earth
Creations clothing which claims an “earth friendly”
manufacturing process, Oobç and Whimsy (childrens’
jewelry and sun wear). Live cactus arts and wild blackberry
honey (made in Utah) round out the selection, as well as
a line of candies packaged specifically for Desert Sun Gifts.
Nate and Jacque aren’t new to the entrepreneurial
scene. Long-time Moab residents, the pair have been involved
in several area businesses. Nate’s current ventures
include Nate Knight Accounting and the Aarchway Inn. Jacque
was a partner in a fabric shop in Moab before opening the
gift shop in 1994 when it became apparent that the tourist
industry was where Moab’s economy was headed. “People
would peek through the window,” Jacque said while
cupping her hands around her eyes as if looking through
a window, “and pass on by when they saw it was fabric
inside.” Her father’s friend who has a gift
shop in Durango helped her select her initial inventory
for the gift shop and it took off from there.
The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Jacque wants local residents to know her shop doesn’t
just have merchandise for the tourists. There really is
something for everyone and she and her one full- and four
part-time employees invite all to peruse their wares in
this charming little shop on Moab’s Main Street.