By Mo Cranker
Alta. Newspaper Group
Brooke Frechette has been working for weeks to get her new store, The Chic Crafter, open for the Holiday Season.
She was able to host a grand opening Saturday (Nov. 21) with roughly 250 people passing through her Redcliff shop throughout the day.
The Chic Crafter is home to products from 41 vendors in the area. It is home to a variety of products including food, clothes, candles, drinkware and more.
“I’ve been crafting for about four years, but last year I lost my job right before Christmas and it gave me time to focus on crafting,” she said. “I started doing tumblers and got pretty big pretty quickly, and ended up wanting to get a studio. For the same price of a studio, we were able to get a storefront as well.
“At first we were thinking we’d have 15 vendors in here, but we’re up to 40 now and it’s pretty full.”
Frechette grew up in Pincher Creek and moved to Redcliff about four years ago. She says community support has been great so far.
“We were lined up on Saturday for the entire day,” she said. “Medicine Hat and Redcliff are so good about supporting local, and I think people really understand this year how important it is.”
Frechette says opening a business during the pandemic has been stressful, but she is trying to stay optimistic.
“It’s terrifying to know that you can get a call at any point saying your store can’t be open, especially at this time of year,” she said. “If everything closes, we’ll try our best to do online ordering and curbside pickup, but we’re hoping to stay open.
“We’ve had so much support so far from the community that I think it would be enough to keep us going through a shutdown.”
With many small markets cancelled or postponed in the area, Frechette says she is happy to offer a place for vendors to sell their goods.
“Markets before Christmas are huge for local craft vendors,” she said. “If you work your markets well, you can make enough to get through the time after Christmas when no one is buying.
“We are limited with space here compared to a market, but everyone gets a bit of space to show their stuff.”