Woman holding a Christmas knickknack with a table of knickknacks behind her.
Margaret Heldenbrand shows the whimsical mice holiday creations she displayed at the Conifer Newcomers & Neighbors’ annual Holiday Boutique on Nov. 4 at Conifer High School. Credit: Deb Hurley Brobst

It was time to start decking the halls despite temperatures in the 60s during the Holiday Boutique sponsored by Colorado Newcomers & Neighbors.

The 45th annual show had nearly 100 vendors selling artisan-created items of every kind, all ready to help shoppers get a start on their holiday shopping list. Thousands traversed the rows of booths in the gymnasium and cafetorium at Conifer High School. 

It was apparent from the long lines at the checkout tables and from the smiling people walking out with bags of items that the boutique was its usual success.

CN&N donates event proceeds to area nonprofits and schools. 

Beckie Covill was happy to talk about Brook Forest Soaps, a business she started after years of loving handcrafted soap. Covill said she tried making soap on her own, and friends and family suggested she start selling her wares.

“It just blossomed from there,” she said. Her soaps are also available at TallGrass Spa and Sugar Jones in Bergen Park.

Amy Stadstad of Conifer makes hand-poured candles with her best friend, Becca Karns, and their business A&B Candles has taken off. Stadstad, who is a full-time pharmacist, said they create fragrances that capture experiences and places in Colorado such as Firestone Fireplace, Golden Garden, Conifer Cranberry, Steamboat Sweet Shop and Morrison Inn Margarita.

A&B Candles offers 38 fragrances, and Stadstad said they are expanding to room and linen fragrances.

Katie and Jeremy Garst create heirloom objects such as growth boards with custom artwork on snowboards and other wooden pieces. The growth boards are movable, so they don’t get lost if they are on a wall in a house.

“We started with one (growth board) and then our friends and family asked for them,” Katie said. “We turned it into a business.”

This was the Garsts’ first year at the Holiday Boutique, and they were pleased with the crowds perusing the booths.

Margaret Heldenbrand of Littleton loves comical mice, and 33 years ago, she began creating tiny mice out of polymer clay, adding holiday decorations and more. She said her mice are from the night before “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

“Every year, I come up with fresh ideas and colors. They are a lot of fun. I have one idea and it turns into 10 more.”

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