Shop within Campbell’s caters to crafty salesFor years, Campbell employees have been asked where the gift section is, and now they have a place to point.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
For years, Campbell employees have been asked where the gift section is, and now they have a place to point.
The Old Hutch, a fenced area within the store filled with craft items, opened two months ago. It was meant to cater to the women who stopped by Campbell Lumber. But male shoppers have also gravitated toward the display, situated in the former aisle space near the front counter.
“It’s about 50/50,” said Jean Higgins, a Campbell Lumber employee and self-proclaimed “Jean of all trades.”
The shop carries dozens of unique items from local crafters, many in the rustic vein. Some, like crocheted purses, rag rugs, glass-fused jewelry by Gretchen Lisdahl and appliqued onesies, are tailored to females. But Sharon Newland’s wooden yard art — especially the Packer and Viking pieces — have been snapped up by male shoppers. Add photography by Jim Kurtz, birdhouses by Jerry Van Ert, painted saw blades and much more. Higgins said the shop-within-a-shop boasts the work of 24 crafters, and there’s room for more.
“We’ve had lot of fun setting it up,” she said, and they want the consignment shop to grow.
Since it opened two months ago, customers walking into Campbell have been caught off guard by the new store, named for a wooden hutch built by the grandfather of employee Debbie Hanson. People stop in surprise and ask how long it’s been there.
“I get a lot of really positive comments,” Higgins said.
Store manager Kevin Christianson came up with the idea for the shop, she said, and they netted 15 crafters by advertising on their outdoor marquee. Newspaper ads brought another nine crafters into the fold. The focus is on unique and unusual items, like the primitive signs and art by Pam Maki of Cromwell. Most crafters are willing to create custom works as well.
“I’m blown away by the talent in the area,” Higgins said. The Old Hutch offers crafters a guaranteed spot for their work to be seen without the uncertainties of setting up at craft fairs. Because there’s no overhead for the shop, Higgins said, customers will find reasonable prices in the “cute little nook.”
The Old Hutch is open the same hours as Campbell Lumber, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For information on the store or how to become a craft consignor, call (715) 394-7721 and ask for Jean.