Christmas co-op store pops up again

Out of Hand has unique, locally made gifts.

If you’re looking for a unique gift this Christmas, such as a handmade ukulele or a knitted teddy bear, a pop-up store in Smithers may just have what you are looking for. Out of Hand is a cooperative of local artists that opens its doors every year for the holidays. They have vendors this year from Burns Lake to Hazelton and one from as far as Terrace. Organizer Lyn Nugent said this is a different way for local artists and artisans to get their wares to the public.

“The artists split the expenses and all the money goes back to the artists, so it isn’t run like a traditional store, it is run more like a coop,” she said. “That was our goal was to make sure that artists had a place to sell their goods and make the money themselves.”

“It isn’t that they aren’t local stores that try to support local artists, there are. But it is really expensive it run a store full time and it is very hard for people who are producing made in Canada goods to have enough margin left to sell in a traditional store. They have to mark up, if they can’t mark up they can’t afford rent. So that is why co-ops spring into existence because it keeps the cost down so they can sell things at a price that people can afford and make a reasonable income. It isn’t a slam against other stores in town that are trying to stock local and made in Canada goods, because they are some and that is awesome, but it is just the cost of producing is too high for some of us to sell in a traditional store.”

The store is up and running for its fifth year and is open from now until Christmas Eve, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

“We have to find a store that is empty and will rent to us for inexpensively as possible. If we rent year around, we will have all those costs that go along with that and we haven’t found a way to make it affordable.”

This year, they have more vendors than every before. There are 49 vendors who have set up shop in the old Gone Hollywood building on First Avenue. The store was able have more vendors because they were able to secure a big space. Last year, they had between 36 and 40 vendors in their space on Main Street. Nugent said the number was fluid because some artists sold out.

Out of Hand has things for everyone.

“Lots of stuff for kids and infants but there are things are more suitable, if I can be gendered, for guys,” said Nugent. “We have a blacksmith who is making some awesome things, we have a fellow that is tying fishing flies, we have a couple of potters, we have people who do stain and blown glass. We also have quite a lot of nice foods and chocolates. We also have some quilters and a lot of artists, jewellers, body products, candles, it is quite an array. We will also have someone coming in doing leatherwork. There is a lot of variety.”

Out of Hand has a Facebook page and an Instagram account featuring all the local vendors and their art.

“Smithers really supports local, it is really great,” added Nugent.

 

Just Posted

Police seek victims of alleged Prince George pedophile

Kevin James Belcourt has been charged with several sex crimes involving a girl under 16

Telkwa lifts boil water advisory

The Village of Telkwa has just announced that as of 3:00 p.m.… Continue reading

Chevron’s move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

New report into sawmill explosions released

The report recommends streamlining investigative process

No parole for 12 years for Burns Lake man convicted of second degree murder

Judge said he did not believe Albert Giesbrecht’s claim his gun discharged accidentally

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read