Published: Dec 15, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Dec 17, 2012 10:48 PM
CARY - Artsy shoppers have their pick of crafty gifts in downtown Cary this year.
A slate of small shops are new to town, from A Perfect Piece to Vintage Vogue. And then theres a unique venture from another newcomer to business: the town of Cary.
The local government has turned a vacant storefront into a temporary pop-up shop where Wake County artists and artisans sell their work for a week at a time.
Its amazing what a coat of paint will do, said town staffer Joy Ennis as she stood inside the impromptu holiday boutique.
The idea is similar to Lazy Daze, the towns street festival that brings tens of thousands to downtown for a day of art. In all, the Holly Daze store will bring 45 artists to 120 E. Chatham St., a building the town bought last November.
The three-week shop runs until Dec. 22, with a new crop of vendors every week.
So far, the shop has met mixed but generally positive responses from the artists. Several first-week sellers were happy to have a new outlet, but many lamented the lack of foot traffic.
Each artists table must be manned during all business hours, including lightly trafficked weekdays.
I like the idea. But like most start-ups, its tough, said local photographer Don Sprinkle, who was selling a spread of holiday postcards and images.
He said he saw a half dozen to a dozen customers per day not enough to turn much profit, but a perfect testing ground for his new products.
Jewelry maker Linda Searcy praised the venue but complained about a lack of foot traffic. The project needed more ads, more exposure, said Searcy, a self-taught Cary resident who works in a range of metals and techniques.
A lack of customers has been a long-time challenge for downtown. In fact, the pop-up shop is part of the towns campaign of new cultural events and construction projects meant to draw people downtown. The 2,600-square-foot shop stands next to The Cary, an under-construction arts venue.
The town eventually hopes to rent out the shop to a retail or food operation.
Its slow, but its alive, said Gava Van Der Schyff, a native of South Africa who was selling knitted goods during the shops first week. She would take the opportunity again, she said.
Likewise, quilter Marianne Donohue said Holly Daze provided a place to meet new artists and customers.
Somebody can look online and see this, she said, pointing to a framed quilt, but they wont know why I made it.
And, Donohue added, the indoor shop had none of an outdoor markets threat of bad weather.
For Hannah Dare Yarborough, a 17-year-old from Raleigh, Holly Daze was an introduction to the sellers table, that bastion of local art.
Its been fun to talk to people, she said from behind her spread of crafts. Ive sold something every day this week.