After 26 years, word continues to spread about the great gift ideas and keepsakes at the Artisan.
Heather Buchanan heard a glowing review of the downtown Trail shop from a neighbour, so she decided it was time for a look-see this week.
The young Fruitvale mom packed up her son Brooks and spent Tuesday afternoon picking out a gift for someone special and a one-of-a-kind present for herself.
“My friend said to come and check it out and I am so glad I did,” said Buchanan. “I’ll be back because there is so much fun stuff to look at.
“But these earrings, they’re so nice, I am keeping for myself,” she chuckled.
Self taught crafter Diane Sordi was working in the consignment store that afternoon, which is something she does about six times a month in four-hour stints.
She became an Artisan member 22 years ago, looking to keep her hands busy after retiring from a 30-year career in the Trail Times office.
“We love our little store so it is certainly valuable to all of us,” said Sordi. “And we’ve formed a lot of good friendships over the years. I once said, I’ve never seen a bunch of old women work so darn hard for so little,” she laughed. “But we just love it here.”
Sordi’s ‘Warm Touches’ wreaths and ‘Love Letters’ designs are one of many unique products available Monday through Saturday in the retail space, which is located on Eldorado Street below Shoppers Drug Mart.
The co-op currently has over 100 local consignees who regularly contribute unique hand crafted goods ranging from household decor and glass art to quilts, pottery, soaps, and “A taste of the Kootenays” pure huckleberry jam and local honey.
To celebrate another year of operations, the store is hosting its annual Christmas Open House today from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturday during the Silver City Nite festivities in the downtown core.
Selected items will be discounted and there will be a draw for a basket of goodies courtesy of the Artisan members.
Local potter Fran Moll is a six-year member, who upon returning to her hometown of Trail in 2008, made joining the Artisan one of her first orders of business.
“When we would come back to visit, I remember saying to my husband that I was going to join the Artisan as soon as we moved back,” she said, adding that the store is always looking for new talent.
Over the years, the area’s art scene has blossomed, bringing increased outlets for artisans to showcase their wares in craft fairs, summer markets and even online.
Moll takes it all in stride because the Trail co-op is open year round and the store is often refreshed with new and creative product lines.
However, one aspect to the business continues to surprise her.
“We still get people that come in and say, ‘I’ve never been in your store,’” she noted.
“I ask where they live, and sometimes they say, ‘Trail for all of my life.’”
For information or to join the Artisan team, contact the store at 364.5659 or visit trailartisan.com.