December 07, 2023

Prepping for the holidays

Local shop owners get in the holiday spirit months before the seasonal goods hit the store

Crisp, brisk air and sparkling frost signal the start of the holiday season each year. But for local shop owners, preparing for their busiest months began well before the first holly was hung. Finding out the up-and-coming trends, purchasing the perfect holiday gifts and staging their stores is a year-long process to help make shoppers get in the holiday spirit while searching for the perfect gifts.

“Most of my income comes in November and December so I do have to do the prep work beforehand to make that happen,” The Farmer’s Wife owner Bonnie Terpstra said. “It is a lot of work and my storage is up the stairs but you have to do it to make the reward.”

Terpstra’s store on the northwest corner of Newton’s downtown is transformed into a holiday wonderland, a little bit of something for everyone’s taste. But she doesn’t wait until the end of summer work on the holidays, it’s a process that kicks off just as the last holiday season wraps up.

“For looking, it’s always right after Christmas. I’ll go to market in January and order most of it there,” Terpstra said. “You can kind of see what is trending in all of the show rooms. I have my favorites that I like to buy from. Also, what’s trending, what sold well for me the past Christmas. Things change and evolve and you’ve got to move with the new colors or whatever they come up with on the designs.”

Market can be in Dallas, Las Vegas, Atlanta or many other large cities across the country. Stacy Barney from Fine Things on the south side of downtown Newton said owner Julia Prendergast is always prepping for the holidays, finding different pieces throughout the year.

“She does go to market and she has companies that she uses,” Barney said. “Most shows for any store will be spring and winter.”

Along with purchasing items from outside companies, Stephanie Moran owner and designer at Silverado Jewelry, makes her own products, an ongoing project as the trends evolve.

“The year before, we will make notes of things we want to do differently for the following year, what we want to buy, what we want to look for. Then, a couple of months ago actually buying things and figuring out how we are going to decorate and position things,” Moran said. “We get inspiration from different influencers, trying to see what the market in going towards. We want to have the right colors, right fit, the right textures, that is all important to us.”

Once the products are secured, getting the store ready is the next big task. Shoppers who might want to start decorating their own house begin to look for pieces before the holidays start, giving shop owners the opportunity to begin teasing what is coming for the season.

“I always start decorating Oct. 1 because I have large store,” Terpstra said. “I start at the back and move forward. Each section has a different theme. We have the farmhouse, the kitchen area, a black, white and silver and the front is usually a lot of sparkle and glam that Christmas comes with.”

Terpstra hinted at trends flowing in a boho direction incorporating a lot of wood tones and naturals for the upcoming season. Of course, the traditional reds and greens can also be found through each store, too.

“We try to hold back a little bit ... once we get into the first of November, within the next couple of weeks everything will be out,” Barney said. “We’ll be good and prepared by then.”

By mid-November, shops are completely transformed to winter wonderlands, filled with holiday cheer and plenty of goodies to keep patrons busy. With several shopping weekends offering specials and deals along with extra activities in the downtown, shop owners are eager to welcome the hundreds of shoppers looking to celebrate throughout the holiday months.

“It is so incredible the support we get from the community,” Moran said. “It is indescribable.”