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Holiday Stop a Beneficial Presence
Staff Reports,
02:02PM / Wednesday, December 01, 2010

An elegant place setting from Carr Hardware, kitchenware and crocheted baby sweaters are among the items to be found at The Holiday Stop.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jennifer Barbeau, who turned the anemic Fall Foliage Craft Fair into a rousing downtown success this year, isn't done with Main Street.

Barbeau, an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple, a home-party prepared foods business; her daughter, Kate Barbeau, Diane Daniels and crafter Kathy Turner have teamed up to open The Holiday Stop at 81 Main St. to offer a variety of crafts and merchandise and support nonprofits over the holidays.

Merchandise includes range of handcrafted local items, overstock and bargains: from purses, shawls, linens and jewelery to homebaked goods, crocheted baby sweaters, natural lotions and handmade Christmas decorations. There's also, of course, information about their home businesses; Kate Barbeau sells Miche Bags and Daniels is consultant for Linen World.

"It's a nice opportunity for us to help the community," said Barbeau, since a lot of the sales go to local charities. "We got a lot of donations."

They're selling calendars for the Greylock Animal Hospital, for instance, to raise funds for its Stray and Wildlife Medical Fund. St. John's Episcopal Church's thrift store Gilded Cage has taken over a spot to continue selling its goods through the holiday. Sales of clothing go to Shriners' Hospital; a gift wrapping station benefits Relay for Life. The shop is also accepting food pantry and animal shelter donations.

"We wanted to make this fun, too," said Barbeau, "by bringing people in to talk and do demonstrations."

That means craft and story times for kids, information about what the animal hospital's been helping with its fund and raffles. One of the more popular demonstrations is "elegant napkin folding," said Barbeau, along with bow making. Advance registration is recommended for all activities. The cost: a donation to the food pantry.

The store is open Saturdays 9 to 5; Sundays 9 to 3; sometimes at lunchtime, and for the Thursday night Hometown Holidays events. This Thursday, Dec. 2, there'll be a bow making class at 6:30. Saturday offers a children's program at 10:30 and a Greylock rep will be on hand from 11 to 1. 

The last day is Thursday, Dec. 23.

Update: The shop is a now a FIVE-person venture with the addition of Mary Ann Caproni the "Crochet Queen." Caproni has (adorable!) hats, doll clothes, children's sweaters, purses and more.
 

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