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Lewiston launches the holidays with annual craft boutique

November 30th, 2015 Posted in Arts and Life

By Jillian McCarthy

LEWISTON — After 10 minutes of pondering, Cathy Olsen and Julia Smullin finally came up with a name for their new craft business, Savvy Sisters.

They had started on their homemade crafts only a month before Lewiston’s annual craft boutique, which was a way to launch Savvy Sisters, as well as weigh the pros and cons of their new venture.

“This low-key boutique is perfect for us since we are housewives and stay-at-home moms,” Olsen said. “There is no pressure and we are just here to have fun and sell our crafts.”

After just one day, Olsen said business is good. “We sold more than we expected to, and today has by far exceeded our expectations,” she said.

Since most of Olsen and Smullin’s crafts were for the holidays, they will put whatever they don’t sell on social media, Smullin said. But the holiday boutique was a great way to see what sells and what doesn’t, she said.

The town’s ballroom was packed with booths, Christmas decorations and a whole lot of crafts. The annual boutique offers opportunities for new entrepreneurs like Olsen and Smullin to test the waters of owning a small business.

Vendors paid $25 for their booths, said Tova Jones of the Lewiston Arts Council.

“We have people come from Salt Lake and Preston area to set up booths, but most of the vendors are local from Cache Valley,” she said. “All of the vendor spots this year have been filled, and we had 22 booths in total.”

Every year one craft becomes a crowd favorite and sells out, Jones said. In the past, the most popular items have included handmade dish scrubbies and custom plaques.

Even though the boutique is supposed to be a small-town, low-key event, Julie Bergeson, the town recorder and office manager, said that it can become a madhouse with all the people and holiday excitement.

The next holiday event coming up in Lewiston will be on Dec. 12, when Santa comes to the town’s ballroom for pictures with children.


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