Vt artists sell wares at University Mall - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt artists sell wares at University Mall

South Burlington, Vermont - December 16, 2011

For Alyson Cota, holiday shopping can be a headache.

"I really have a hard time with my family because the kids are all grown now," she said.

That was until this store caught her eye: the Vermont Holiday Craft Shop in the University Mall.

"I have a husband that's a carpenter but I can't get him to do anything for me. So I got him a honey do list and I'm going to hang my list on it in hopes he'll get the hint," Cota said.

Unique gifts that are also different because of who makes them. All of these items are made in the Green Mountains.

"There's an awful lot of box stores in a mall and if you see something that says Vermont Craft Shop, that says a lot," said Tom Lozen of the Vermont Holiday Craft Shop.

There are more than 60 artists and they run the store for two months like a co-op.

"There's no paid employees, we all put in our own time" said Darcy Church of the Vermont Holiday Craft Shop.

The crafters range in age from 17 to their 90s. It's a popular option for artists because unlike galleries, they don't have to share the commission-- they keep it all.

"There's screen printed T-shirts, glass art, jewelry, there's woodworking, handmade glass and ornaments," Church said.

They even have bibs for adults-- good for messy desk eaters. Darren Perron, I'm crossing you off my list. Cat's out of the bag for Darren and maybe Cota's grandson, too.

"I found this awesome skateboarding clothes hanger. I hope he likes it and doesn't watch the news!" Cota said.

"It gives them the opportunity to show their wares in a very public place. It's like a two-month craft show. It's great and people look for us. We get repeat customers," said Tom Lozen, the manager of the Vermont Holiday Craft Shop.

Customers like Alyson Cota, who plans to be back next year.

"I like to support it," she said.

The Vermont Holiday Craft Shop is open the same hours as the University Mall. It will stay open until the day after Christmas.

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