Downtown gift shop boasts hand-blown glass, 'alternative goods'
Editor's note: Muncie Origins is a Ball State Daily News series profiling various businesses that originated in Muncie.
On the corner of Walnut and Jackson sits Wishbone Gifts, a simple storefront full of colorful pipes and tapestries.
This downtown gift shop came to life one day when owner Rod Crossland was sitting on his now ex-wife’s balcony, drinking wine and daydreaming. That was the moment Wishbone was imagined. After years of saving up, Crossland opened the store. Now he enjoys the community around his alternative goods business.
As Crossland described it, Wishbone Gifts is perfect for those with an “alternative lifestyle.” Customers can follow the sound of Bob Marley back to a room displaying an array of glass tobacco pipes, ranging from $10 to $120.
“One thing that’s different is our hand-blown glass,” Crossland said. “You can actually know the name of the hand-blown glass artist.”
Crossland was introduced to local glass artist Josiah Kelly 10 years ago. The two continue to support each other today.
“[Crossland] helped push me to be a better artist by supporting me with sales and constructive criticism,” Kelly said.
Kelly is also a customer of Wishbone, and he said he recommends the store to both skaters and artists.
“[Crossland] has a wonderful store that not only sells some of the best high-end glass in the area, but is a great skateboard shop for all your needs,” Kelly said.
In addition to pipes and skateboard products, Wishbone offers posters, stickers, patches, jewelry, crystals and a wide variety of incense. Crossland enjoys providing shoppers with whatever fits their budget and lifestyle. His favorite part of the shop is the repeat customers, as well as the community he's found since the shop started.
“I really enjoy the sense of community. Muncie was my first time, moving around in my adult life, that I established those connections,” Crossland said.
Crossland entered Muncie at the change of the millennium when his ex-wife got a job at Ball State and opened Wishbone in 2001. He's stayed in town for the community.
“Especially with small businesses, it’s about relationships,” Crossland said. “It’s awesome to talk to people years later and they still remember you.”
Those who really love what Crossland does can shop at his other store, The Magic Bus, in Indianapolis as well. Wishbone has 50 five-star reviews on its Facebook page. One reviewer, Gregory Stevens, had kind words about the shop and Crossland.
"[I] have shopped here since it opened. Have not met a shop owner quite like Rod, his pleasant and warm nature will endear himself to you almost instantly. He does not treat you like a customer, he treats you like a friend," Stevens wrote.
Crossland did not expect this loyal customer base at the beginning of Wishbone’s existence.
“To sum it up, I just wanted to work 30 hours a week and earn $30,000 a year,” Crossland said. “I wanted to be my own boss.”
Wishbone is located at 201 S Walnut St. The store is open Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is closed Sundays.