Unique Boutique kicks off the holiday season this weekend
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The Unique Boutique started about 30 years ago hosted in people’s homes. It was once held at the Kaiser House bed and breakfast on Ninth and Blake. As the show increased in size, it was held at places like the Hotel Denver and Hotel Colorado. The show was held on Election Day for two reasons: People were out to vote all day and one of the polling places was the Hotel Colorado, so you could vote, then get some early Christmas shopping in.
Another good reason for having it held Election Day was that the Unique Boutique has always been synonymous with Election Day – it is easy to remember.
Although many people have been involved in the UB, one of the main organizers was Glenwood resident Lindy Carlson. She kept the UB as a juried, top-notch show, and every vender sold something different, thus the “unique” part of the name.
I remember the first show I did was held at the Hotel Colorado on Election Day. As soon as the doors opened, people just streamed in. It is a well-known locals’ show, so a great place to see folks you haven’t seen for a while.
The crowds slowed down due to the advent of mail-in ballots, and Lindy decided to retire from being the main director. She handed over the UB to the Downtown Market organizers, Cindy Svatos and Nancy Page-Sprick. They held it at a brand new venue – the Masonic Lodge, where the vaudeville shows are held.
They changed the date to the end of October, adding a Halloween/Fall element to the early Christmas shopping. They had many vendors from the Downtown Tuesday market there, and it was a lot of fun starting on Friday evening with wine and cheese, and then all day on Saturday. Cindy and Nancy organized it for two years, then decided it wasn’t something the Downtown Market wanted to continue with, so that is when the show came to be in my hands.
I felt the show should be closer to the Christmas season, but not on Election Day. I decided on having it be the second Saturday before Thanksgiving. Last year was very successful, still being held at the Masonic Lodge. We realized, though, that many of our attendees were having difficulty accessing the steps, and there is no handicap sidewalk ramp. I talked with Fran Ralph, the secretary at the First United Methodist Church, and she was delighted to have the Unique Boutique be held at their Bethel Chapel. This is the first year held at the church, and we would like to make it our home venue every year, if the church agrees.
We offer free vending booths to non-profits like the Valley View Hospital Quilt Raffle. They are not able to join us this year, but they have most years in the past. This year the United Methodist Women are holding a holiday bake sale, with proceeds benefitting the church. Although it costs a considerable amount to put on a show like this, any money we have left from vendor fees, after expenses, will be donated to a charity. All vendors will be responsible for their own profits, sales, taxes, etc.
I like the fact that the majority of our venders are local folks. This year we have local artist Wewer Keohane, Peach Valley potter Debra Stewart, professional pastel artist Laurel Astor, and Linda Drake from Lunar Designs. New this year we will have Robert Boyle – aka “Doc Holliday” – signing copies of his newly published children’s book, “The Great Galomp.” I told him to leave his six-shooter at home. I am excited to have Emily Fout, a young teenage entrepreneur and owner of Fizzy Love handcrafted jewelry. Mindi Harmon will be selling her one-of-a-kind crocheted Colorado hats. Jamie Patterson, owner of Cozi Nites and vendor at the Downtown Market, will be selling her fun fleece print robes, night shirts and pants. My longtime cohorts Chris and Chuck Lanci will be selling their beautiful metal carved fish and Kokopelli figures. Just in time for the winter season, Susan Dardine from Grounded Life Therapy will be on hand to market her hand sewn shoulder rice bags.Warm them up in the microwave, place them around your shoulders, and ahhhhh.
We also have two out-of-town returning vendors. One is Renee Waltz from Grand Junction, who sells mixed media artwork. Emily Galvin from Breckenridge will be returning with her fantastic metal artwork.
Local photographer and artist Sandy Hanson will be there with holiday cards and unique hand-painted gifts. We welcome Jan Panico, from Carbondale, also an artist selling mixed media gifts. My partner, Betts Williams, and I are owners and artists at Blue Heron Sand Etching. We will be selling our popular etched Mount Sopris wine glasses. Each glass has a different phase of the moon over Sopris. We also are known for our exquisite, hand-painted Christmas ornaments.
So join us for the Unique Boutique this Saturday, Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church (next to the library) in Glenwood Springs.
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