It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — inside The Shops at Mallory, at least, where some familiar Key West faces have opened Twisted Tinsel, a year-round Christmas shop with a decidedly Key West flare.

Jenn Stefanacci-Portier and Grant Portier, of Poke in the Rear and 22&Co. fame, joined forces in Twisted Tinsel with business partners Sam Heuer and Russell Stumpf.

Grant Portier, Jenn Stefanacci-Portier, Sam Heuer and Russell Stumpf opened Twisted Tinsel on Aug. 1 in Key West. CONTRIBUTED

A grand opening celebration will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 inside The Shops at Mallory, 291 Front St.

Twisted Tinsel opened Oct. 1, less than four months after the Portiers happened upon a Christmas shop in Savannah, Georgia.

“We were there on June 25, so Christmas was exactly six months away,” Jenn recalled. “As soon as we walked in, I looked around and said, ‘Where’s the countdown to Christmas? Where’s the music? Where’s the snow machine?’”

Grant was smiling and nodding throughout his wife’s animated recollection.

“We still spent $100 in the place,” he said. But by the time the pair had left the Savannah shop, their next business venture was taking shape.

The foursome signed a lease on Aug. 1 and started ordering inventory. Twisted Tinsel is on the first floor of The Shops at Mallory, 291 Front St. The building, formerly known as Clinton Square Market, is next to the Custom House Museum and houses a unique collection of locally relevant retail boutiques, art galleries, jewelry kiosks, coffee shops and more.

From elegant white, to a rainbow of colors, Twisted Tinsel has everything a home and tree need for the holidays. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

“Every day was like Christmas morning for us, as boxes kept arriving,” Grant said, laughing while touring the store and exploring all its offerings like, well, a kid at Christmas.

With new inventory arriving daily, Twisted Tinsel already has everything that was missing from the Georgia shop that inspired it.

On Oct. 11, the countdown accurately read “75 days til Christmas.” Inside the shop, a holiday movie was playing, as were Christmas carols. A snow machine sits high on a shelf and a children’s desk is set up for kids to write letters to Santa — with a good chance they’ll get a response, Jenn said with a wink and a smile, having spoken with local postal workers.

Twisted Tinsel provides a child-sized desk for kids to write letters to Santa. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

The shop is packed with ornaments, classy home decor, elegant nutcrackers, Santa hats, irreverent wrapping paper and cards, and glittery Christmas balls in the rainbow of colors that Key West has come to expect from Stefanacci-Portier.

Eye-catching nutcrackers in all styles line the shop’s walls. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

“My favorite part is that most of this stuff is not available on Amazon; certainly not these Keys-specific ornaments that are printed here in town on a 3-D printer,” Grant said, picking up a perfectly miniature Key West Conchs baseball hat, and a downsized Mile 0 sign.

Jeff Marsh, a local resident who owns a company called The Maker, creates all manner of objects with his high-tech printer. He was at Twisted Tinsel this week delivering his third batch of Key West Conch hat ornaments.

Key West resident Jeff Marsh and his company, The Maker, create custom ornaments on a 3-D printer, such as these Key West Conch baseball hats. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

He has also made, exclusively for Twisted Tinsel, ornaments depicting “Fred,” the tree on the Seven-Mile Bridge, and a silhouette of “Douglas,” the Key West jogger who hefts an American flag throughout his running route and waves merrily to every passing car that honks in support.

Artificial Christmas trees hang upside down from the ceiling, and the walls are covered in mirrored tinsel, giving the shop the feel of ice and snow, while handmade candles by local artisan Bella Laine impart the cozy scent of the holidays.

“We hung the trees just for decoration at first, but now everyone wants to buy them,” Jenn said. “The shop has taken off like gangbusters, and it’s such a fun place to be. We still have new inventory coming every day. We knew that if we waited to open until it was perfectly finished, then we’d never open. So it’s still a work in progress, but has turned out great. We’re getting an amazing response from locals and visitors. Who doesn’t buy a Christmas ornament in each place they visit?”

“And we, of course, offer a locals discount,” Grant added, retying his Santa’s workshop apron.

From sparkling, colorful Christmas balls, to charming snowmen, Twisted Tinsel caters to all tastes and styles. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

But Twisted Tinsel isn’t exclusively about Christmas. There are plenty of Chanukah decorations as well, along with a rotating holiday display that will change seasonally. This week, it featured Halloween- and Thanksgiving-themed items. Come spring and summer, it’ll highlight Easter and Fourth of July. 

One thing that will never change inside Twisted Tinsel is the shop’s mission statement that hangs on the wall, printed on green paper: “To provide the community with an offbeat and irreverent experience while acknowledging the spirit of the holidays in an inclusive manner. All are welcome. All are respected. All year long.”

‘Tis the season at Twisted Tinsel — always.

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. She's married to a saintly — and handy — fisherman, and has been stringing words together in Key West since 1998.