Holiday pop up shop sells crafts
READSBORO- Readsboro Hometown Redevelopment, the nonprofit that owns the Bullock Building, has created a new temporary business within its walls; a holiday pop-up store featuring its own inventory and contributions from several area craftspeople.
The shop’s hours are Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm until December 28 when it is anticipated that the store will close for the season. RHR’s own inventory features antiques, dishware sets, Christmas ornaments and accessories, full Santa Suits at discounted prices, crystal and glassware, a raffle on three great gift baskets, and more.
The interior of the building was expertly decorated by Elaine Dove in holiday style from the front display windows to the hall itself where a large Christmas tree stands with a big red chair awaiting a visit from Santa Claus. A wintry holiday scene painted by local artist Mark Lowe adorns the walls, while standing just opposite is a giant pile of wrapped Christmas presents. The presents are all priced and have clues written on them as to what is inside. Most are priced at $1 to $2 while a few are as much as $10. This pile had many visitors examining boxes and reading clues which generated more than one chuckle. Plenty were sold but there are plenty left.
This first-time endeavor began on November 16 with an open house that featured area craftspeople who signed up to have their work sold through the store with RHR making a small commission on each item sold.
These craftspeople will have their items in the store through the duration of the store’s existence. They currently include Daniel and Joanne Birch’s maple syrup; Dan Baliotti’s “Dover Hill” kitchen and country furnishing products; Celeste DiMarsico’s brilliantly rich colored bags and eye pillows; Linda Marston’s quilts, blankets, and knitted goods; and the gorgeous photography of unique subjects by Stacy Birch. RHR is still looking for more craftspeople who want to be a part of the store operation.
Also set up through the duration will be the store merchandise of the Living History Association, another nonprofit, which includes many educational items from books, games, coloring books, historical parchments, toy soldiers, Indian arrow heads, Civil War hats, and much more.
Future weekends will continue to include free hot drinks, but with a donation jug nearby. RHR must raise $30,000 to match against grant funds to replace the Bullock Building’s current roof. Hence, the reason for the store effort, raffles, and events.
The next event will be Thursday December 12, when Santa comes to the Bullock Building to meet any child who wants to show up. There will be free hot chocolate and other soft drinks, cookies, and goodies for the kids. There will also be a free grab bag for the first 100 children who attend. Bags are filled with candy canes, chocolate, and school supplies such as pens, pencils, markers, and so on. We hope to see a great number of children.
In 2018 RHR members, under the direction of president Susan Bailey, accumulated all the cost estimates and contract workers to change the seasonal nature of the building. Craig Barkus, of Barkus Excavating, was instrumental in putting the contractors together and managing the work. The project was to tear out all rotted wood in the building’s basement, shore up the floor and strengthen walls where needed, put in a new set of doors, cover the floor with hard pack, cover the hard pack with a cement floor, and install a heating system that could heat the basement and the main floor of the building. This would alleviate the building’s winter problems and provide year- round use. It would also create about 2,500 square feet of usable basement space. The price tag was a daunting $57,000 but the group managed to raise a substantial portion of those funds while member James Dassatti secured a $25,000 grant from the state of Vermont that picked up the balance. This project has been completed and fully paid for.
Next comes the leaking roof project for which the pop-up store and other events are to be held to help cover those costs of which RHR will have to come up with about $30,000. It is hoped that another grant will cover the balance as $30,000 is a lot of money to raise in a small town like Readsboro.