Holly Jolly Christmas at Pop-Up Shop

Story and photos by Lindsey Chester. Above, leather goods from Zanan and the artist who makes them, this week at Holly Daze.

Cary, NC – Have you ever heard of a Pop-up shop? I hadn’t, but apparently its all the rage in urban areas, where retail space is expensive and entrepreneurs just getting a start have something to sell, but are low on funds to rent permanent space. The Town of Cary has sponsored their first Pop-Up Shop at 120 E. Chatham Street and it’s called Holly Daze. I visited on Tuesday.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I had heard about the endeavor from Lyman Collins, Cary’s Cultural Arts Manager at my last Parks and Recreation board meeting. Intrigued, I walked over.

Gingerbread house entries are on display at Holly Daze

Outside the door, I did what I always do when I visit someplace new- I checked in on Foursquare (actually I had to add the locations first)- bonus points.

Beside the entrance is a collection of stellar entrants to the town’s second annual Gingerbread Contest. One of these was a scale model of the soon to open The Cary Theater- amazing.

But on to the shopping.

For three weeks (which started on Dec 1) fifteen vendors will sell their wares in displays within what used to be the old Mitchell’s Pharmacy (most recently an Indian Bazaar).

Items for sale range from hand-knitted scarfs and baby booties to hand-thrown Raku pottery.

One vendor displayed eye catching framed quilt art. Leather goods crafted into unique handbags sat alongside fanciful beaded necklaces and earrings.

Candles and soaps made from soy and hand painted Christmas ornaments.

In short the items were similar to what you might find at Lazy Daze, but the artists are indoors and you can browse and come back later the same week to purchase.

The idea was the brainchild of Lyman and Joy Ennis, Festivals Coordinator. The concept is an extension of the ever popular Lazy Daze and Spring Daze. With the ground-breaking this week for the new Theater, this building next door has been empty since the town’s purchase. While a tenant is sought, the thought was to put some activity there during the holidays. Artists submitted applications in November and most are residents of Wake County.

15 new artists a week populate the pop-up shop through Saturday December 22. There may not be another opportunity to shop a Pop-Up shop in Downtown again. Retail space around here is getting snapped up!

Holly Daze Shoppe

3 weeks only from December 1- 22, 2012
120 East Chatham Street, next to the soon to be Cary Theater
Hours: M-F 3:00pm- 8:00pm
Saturdays: 10:00am- 4:00 pm