Celtic Aer Gift Shop is a charming Irish and Scottish import store run by Ashley Rooney in a house that's well over 100 years old.
Celebrating just over 10 years in business and inspired by its owner Ashley Rooney's strong Irish roots, Celtic Aer in Westchester County, has perfect Irish gifts, from tweeds and jewelry to baby products.
You will find a beautiful selection of Celtic jewelry, woolens, handcrafts, gifts for babies and kids, fragrances, and much more. There is also a large Irish food section, with imported teas, chocolates, pantry items, breads, meats, and seasonal offerings.
Located in the town of Shrub Oak, New York, the store stocks everything Irish you could possibly need. Ashley told IrishCentral how Celtic Aer started out.
"My father started a little garden center in 1992 on a busy corner in Yorktown, New York. He always had some kind of sign, but everyone always referred to it as the 'Irish guy on the corner', as he's from County Fermanagh. So when I jumped around in different corporate jobs and was unhappy, I decided to try putting in a little shop on his corner, actually in a large shed he barely operated out of," Ashley explained.
"It grew over the years, as more customers came from further away to find the perfect Irish or Celtic gift. I always listened to what customers wanted, and I would explore and buy based on what people wished for.
Ashley's strong Irish roots have inspired her store but it seems that retail is also in the Rooney family's blood!
"My father, Patrick Rooney, was born and raised in County Fermanagh on a farm not far from Enniskillen. His family owned Rooney's Shop, which sold petrol, general grocery, and animal feed items," Ashley said.
"He moved to New York in the 70s and worked in the hustle and bustle of mid-town Manhattan before opening his business in our town [called] Celtic Farms and Nursery.
"Because he was one of nine siblings, and the only one to end up in the States, we have a large family of aunts, uncles, and cousins to visit in Ireland."
Of course, family and her store Celtic Aer means that Ashley has a great excuse to travel to Ireland but still she'd like to visit more.
"With young kids, not as often as I'd like! About five times in the last 15 years but I'm hoping to travel there at least every other year, or as often as a busy family allows, going forward."
While she might not get to visit Ireland as much as she'd like, Ashley's surrounded by a strong Irish community at home in Yorktown. "We have a great mix of Irish, Scottish, British and Welsh emigrants as well as tons of proud Irish-Americans," Ashley said.
And of course, they're happy to have an Irish gift store in town. Among Celtic Aer's most popular products is their selection of jewelry, from traditional to modern Celtic designs.
"Our baby and kids section is always growing and we have beautiful woolens for the whole family. Tweed caps, pottery, gifts for the home, and the food section is always a hit," she added.
While Ashley picks up a lot of her stock at trade shows in the United States and from visiting sales reps and online, her favorite way to find new Irish gifts is to shop in Ireland.
Ashley said, "Traveling to Ireland to shop is my favorite, there's nothing like being immersed in the culture and scenery to really get a connection with the products."