Thursday, October 15, 2015

Store review: Galerie Wagner, Kindsbach - gift store

Are you looking for a lovely and traditional gift that's actually made in Germany? In Kindsbach, a suburb of Kaiserslautern, shoppers can find just that at Galerie Wagner.

Store with traditional German handcrafts
Galerie Wagner, Kindsbach, street view

It's a delight of German handicrafts with everything from cuckoo clocks to doll houses inside the store. The highlight there is the selection of traditional German Christmas items. Räuchermännchen (little smoker men, which use incense inside so they appear to "smoke"), Christmas pyramids, ornaments, Schwibbögen, nutcrackers, and snow men line the shelves. Some items come from the Erzgebirge, a mountain area in Germany known for its handmade wooden figures.

Christmas decorations
Räuchermännchen (und Frauen!)
Mini Christmas pyramids and holiday scenes
Beyond that, there are paintings by German artists, Black Forest cuckoo clocks, pewter steins, music boxes, and Easter decorations. Everything is tidily packed into the store, making effective use of the small space for a large selection.
Pewter items for sale
It's not just the items for sale that make a store worth a visit. Friendly and knowledgeable service is important too and Frau Wagner, the store keeper and namesake, offers just that. I've visited the store twice; the first time, just to look, and the second time, to purchase gifts. I never felt rushed or pressured to buy anything; I actually enjoyed my shopping experience.

Frau Wagner, fluent in English, is happy to answer questions about the products, make suggestions, and explain German traditions and how the pieces in her store relate to the traditions. She has operated the store for forty-five years and takes pride in offering quality items that have been actually made in Germany. She told me that items marked "Germany" were probably not made there; items marked "Made in Germany" were produced in-country, which is a requirement to receive that stamp.

Guided by Frau Wagner's helpful advice, I bought some really nice gifts for my family. I felt that prices were fair and very much in line for handcrafts actually made in Germany and I was happy to support an independently owned local business.

VAT forms are accepted
Galerie Wagner
Address: Kaiserstraße 35
67862 Kindsbach
Free street parking is available directly in front of the store or behind the building.
Phone: +49(0)637115144

Note: these opinions are entirely my own, based on my shopping experience there. I received no compensation from Galerie Wagner for this review.

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