In an economic downturn, renting a storefront can be hard to do alone so Mountain Area residents Paula Glick and Christy Rose, with the help of manager Keith Robson, are doing the opposite -- they're getting a group of local artisans to band together in opening a storefront to sell their creative crafts.
"Something Special" opened Wednesday, but the grand opening will be held over the weekend, Dec. 14-16. The shop is located off Highway 41 behind McDonald's and right down the sidewalk from the "The Cool Bean Cafe." There will be refreshments, cookies and door prizes all weekend.
Glick says their shop is a celebration of mountain retailers and artists and says that 13 people are already involved and that number is growing. Some of the items that will be sold include country western purses, sandals, sunglasses, mixed-media art, handmade cards, vintage items, photography, paintings, burlap stockings and table runners for Christmas, pillows, wine bottle art, handmade silver jewelry, screen prints, mosaics and wooden furniture. The prices for these unique gifts will run from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.
There will also be a children's corner that will allow mothers to shop without having to watch their children. Glick and Rose are affiliating with Manna House and Helping Hands so people can donate at their shop with all the money going directly to those agencies. They will also have donation bins in the shop.
They will also make what they call "The Book," which they say is an important part of their business. It will feature service businesses with references, a description of the service, a picture, short auto-biography, and licenses. A $10 donation to be asked for the promotion of their services and in turn the $10 will be donated to Mountain Area charities.
"I'd like to see a permanent place for mountain artists -- a permanent place that would keep everybody reminded of our mountain charities and keep business flowing to the little businesses," Glick said.
The community shop idea is Glick's brainchild and she says it all came about because "necessity is the mother of invention." She said she was selling her purses in two boutiques that ended up closing and she found it was impossible to run a successful small business alone, but as a co-op, they could band together to run the shop.
"The whole point is that we'll be able to charge less," Glick said. "We understand the economy is not good. We are consumers and producers and will try to give customers the benefit of this."
The heart of the idea is what's most important to Rose and she says their mission statement says it all.
"To provide an optimal business environment by combining community spirit and robust individualism to create a profitable and charitable network."
Special Christmas hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday through Christmas. Beginning Dec. 26, hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The shop will be closed Mondays.
The shop will also be available to artisans who wish to offer classes.
Details: Paula Glick, (559) 676-9701 or Christy Rose (559) 683-4985.