We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome incoming and returning students to Shippensburg University, and we would like to especially thank those of you who have chosen to make Madison, Creekside or Brookside your off-campus home.

Off-campus living will help prepare you for the real world in ways that a dorm never will. We’ve provided you with the essentials for independence: a refrigerator, a stove, a dishwasher, and a dining room table that seats four – you and your three CFFs (college-friends-for-forever). We’ve also provided ample space including an in-kitchen pantry and a full closet in every bedroom.

However, it’s up to you to decorate these spaces in ways that express who you are during your time at Shippensburg University.

Local business owners Krissy Cressler of Krissy’s Blue Vase and Hannah Nawa of Whiskers Vintage and Vinyl have some ideas to help you turn your off-campus housing into an off-campus home.

Krissy’s Blue Vase

Krissy’s Blue Vase is a gift shop that represents 21 individual vendors. The inventory includes wine bottle décor, soaps, candles, jewelry and even books by a local author. The majority of the items are handmade or locally produced, but local representatives of direct sales companies like Avon and Tupperware are also given shelf-space.

The shop also includes hangable art and photography by local artists that can help personalize your new living space. Plus, the space hosts a variety of classes from paint nights to wine glass painting so you can fill your new apartment with your own original creations.

Krissy’s Blue Vase offers a variety of kitchen products and gourmet foods that can help gather your friends around the dining room table and help you get your money’s worth out of your new kitchen. Tastefully Simple® offers dips and sauces that are perfect for chips and wings in your living room while you watch the game, and the Gourmet Cupboard® offers a selection of dips, casseroles and soups that are perfect for an afternoon (or all-nighter) of studying in your room.

Off-campus meals

This is off-campus living to the fullest. Cook these prepared meals and dips in your own kitchen and gather in your dining room, living room or bedroom.

The shop offers unique takes on the often-overlooked essentials like pillows and blankets as well as soaps, bath bombs and wash cloths.

Off-campus essentials

Off-campus essentials are, well, essential. Your off-campus apartment comes with a dishwasher, but you should have something handy for delicate situations. Same for in your full bathroom.

To encourage students to venture out into the community, Cressler strives to make Krissy’s Blue Vase a home away from home.

“I like to make it homey in here, so you can feel free to chill out and do some stuff that you need to do on your computer,” she said. “Just come in and plug into whatever you need. I offer free coffee and tea for my customers.”

Krissy’s Blue Vase is located in the King’s Court Mall at 208 E. King St. They regularly update their Facebook page with new events and classes.

Whiskers Vintage and Vinyl

Whiskers Vintage and Vinyl offers a wide assortment of reasonably priced vintage clothing (perfect for filling your new closet) as well as new and used records. The other hidden treasures visitors can uncover include blown glass from a local glass blower, soaps from Middle Springs, a company right down the road, and Southern Firefly candles, which are hand-poured in Nashville. There are lots of quirky gift options like novelty mugs that Whiskers offers people who are looking to either add a unique twist to their home or find a gift for someone else.

College is a time for experimentation and expression, and nowhere is this more important than music. Fortunately, Whiskers has a selection of new records by current artists as well as used copies of classic albums. Whiskers carries Crosley record players that are small and stylish enough to work in any room.

Off-campus soundtrack

Your off-campus soundtrack. Make your off-campus housing an off-campus home in terms of sight and sound.

Not every record you pick up is destined to become part of your personal college soundtrack. Sometimes the most interesting part of the album is its cover – and that’s okay.

“A lot of times, in my fifty cent discount bins, are records that people don’t necessarily want to listen to, but they have a lot of really cool, weird covers,” explained Nawa. “They make frames for those, so that’s an innovative, relatively inexpensive way to incorporate some art.”

She added: “If you can add things to the walls that describe your personality, that makes it feel like home.”

Off-campus soundtrack

Old-school style for back-to-school. Musically, some records age better than others, but their covers are forever.

Whiskers Vintage and Vinyl is located in the Thought Lot at 37 E. Garfield St., an all-ages community space that focuses on live music and local art.

Are you still searching for your off-campus home away from home?

If you are interested in more information about our off-campus living options, check out the Virtual Tours of our Premier and Standard units.