Chamber of Commerce organizes holiday gift shop in St. Helens
The South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is ready to open its second annual holiday gift shop at its office on Columbia Boulevard, just off Highway 30.
The event will run four weekends, beginning the day after Thanksgiving, and will coincide with the chamber's membership drive. Friday hours will be 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday hours are set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gift shop weekends will be Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18.
Jak Massey, member relations manager for the chamber, said, "The holiday gift shop was intended for vendors who are in the local area who are artisans, if you will. These are the people who make jewelry at home; they make special soaps at home; they do knitting. They make things by hand."
Massey said eight tables will be available each day.
"The tables are set up — they come in, they sell their products," she said. "If they want to come back for another weekend, they certainly can."
The cost for vendors is $60 per table, which includes both Friday and Saturday. The cost is $30 for current chamber members. The application deadline is Friday, Nov. 19.
Money from vendor fees will help with chamber improvements for the chamber building.
"It's an income-making event for us, but it's also an income-making event for our local community and our artisans," Massey said.
Although plans are not certain yet, Massey hopes Santa can pay a visit on Fridays.
"We want to encourage the community to come in and check out what we have," Massey said. "We're hoping to have Santa here, maybe on Friday evenings. We're still working on that."
Massey envisions outside seating, perhaps with a fenced area, because kids will likely not be able to sit on Santa's lap due to COVID-19 concerns.
"We could have a really nice little decorated area for Santa to be in where he can speak with the kids," suggested Massey. "Sort of 'social distancing with Santa.'"
Massey is looking forward to seeing a variety of items at the holiday gift shop.
"There's glass blowing, there's jewelry, it's all over the place," she said. "It's really cool to see all the different ideas and things that people are making in their homes, in their small shop, or what have you."
Massey is getting ready for the event.
"I look forward to it," she said. "I actually might be a vendor myself at one of those weekends. Of course, I'll pay my fee. I don't know that I consider myself a local artisan, but I do like to do crafts and I like to tinker with certain things. I think the holidays are a fabulous time to put some fun things together."
More information on the gift shop can be found on the chamber's website at sccchamber.org.
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