Former Mill House to host Holiday Boutique

The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and while The Mill House in NYA recently closed, a temporary new attraction in the old Mill House location is set to offer local shoppers another unique destination close to home.

Christie Larson, owner of Finding Joy Boutique in Chanhassen, is opening the Artisan Holiday Boutique in Norwood Young America from Nov. 15 to Dec. 23. While she does not currently have any plans to open a permanent boutique at 18 Third Ave SE, the seasonal show should make up in uniqueness what it lacks in longevity.

The works of about 50 area artists, hailing from about a 60-mile radius in and around Carver County, include everything from typical art show mainstays like jewelry, pottery and photography displays to off-the-wall additions like the repurposed/shabby chic/funky furniture collection and handmade dog treats.

“We have everything. It’s not necessarily high-end art. We have things that cost $1,” said Larson. “It’s all local, handmade artwork. We have lots of things of all price ranges, really perfect for gift-giving.

“I wanted to have a space for local artists to showcase their work, in a comfortable shopping environment, as well as educate our community about the importance of supporting these artists and craftspeople. The artists in our communities are not only providing us with something beautiful to look at, many of them teach at schools or community and art centers. They bring access to art to many people in our neighborhoods that might not otherwise have the opportunity.”

In regard to why the boutique is opening in Norwood Young America, Larson said she had heard from one of the other artists featured at her Chanhassen store that The Mill House was closing and saw an opportunity.

“I know they had worked with some local artists, and actually one of the artists from my store had her artwork out in The Mill House. She told me it was closing, and I was looking for some holiday space, and it just seemed to be a good fit,” she said.

Larson explained that she has created a network of artists capable of putting together such a show through her work out of the Chanhassen location and her own efforts in the field.

“I’m an artist myself. I started the store because there were so few places that held locally made artwork,” she said. “A lot of the people that will be at the boutique I just know from doing art shows and being out in the artist community.”

Larson said she plans to work with The Flower Mill, which formerly shared its historic building with The Mill House, to put together a refreshment area that will add another dimension to the attraction. There will also be a number of special events during the month to help draw patrons in.

“We will have different events throughout the time that we’re there. Those you can find on the Facebook page,” said Larson, adding that possible events will include a girls’ night out and a holiday party where shoppers can stop in and meet the artists in person. “We are also partnering with Karen at the Flower Mill to do a little coffee and tea area. There will be a space between that will have coffee and tea and snacks available so people can come and just have a relaxing day.”

Larson said the displays should fill about half of the old Mill House space, and will have enough variety to attract all manner of shoppers.

“It will really be a whole range of stuff for kids to pet owners, and teenagers to older people. There will be things for guys as well,” said Larson. “We have a lot of wood items that are popular for guys, or photography. There’s definitely something for everybody.”

• The boutique hours will be Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit Facebook and search for “Artisan Holiday Boutique.”

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