Business

Bay St. business has a crafty nature

"In a 400- to 500-square-foot cubbyhole tucked between Myhre's and J. A. Michaels has sprouted a new business geared toward artisans in Port Orchard who want a little exposure. Thrifty & Nifty, which opened shop at 727 Bay Street on May 23, is a place co-owner Eileen Seifert thinks might attract area craftspeople.I didn't realize there were so many people here in Port Orchard that did crafts, she said.Seifert, who runs the business in a partnership with her stepdaughter Sheila Dickey, describes Thrifty & Nifty as a way for local crafters and artists to have their work displayed in the form of vendor space in the store.What we're basically doing is renting out shelf space, said Seifert. We're not charging any commission after that. We're trying to keep it as simple and as inexpensive as possible.The idea for this business came to Seifert and Dickey through their love for, and experience in, doing crafts.We were looking for an outlet to sell our crafts, said Seifert. We just kept looking, and found our own spot.In addition to the owners, five vendors currently have work arranged for viewing at Thrifty & Nifty. Vendor space in the store can be rented out a month at a time for a fee of $20 a month. Prices of the items for sale vary according the wishes of the vendor.(Prices) are set by the individual, said Seifert. They get the money from their items. All they pay is their rent, and we just cut them a check each month.The stock at Thrifty & Nifty ranges all over the map, due to the variety of artistic focus and talents of the craftspeople. From birdhouses to fragrant sachets, vendor products include oil, acrylic and pastel paintings, straw hats, baskets, needlepoint, handmade pillows, children's clothing, dolls, and decorative potted plants.There'll be a good turnover of different items, said Seifert. We're just trying to get a good variety of everything.If you have yet to hear about Thrifty & Nifty, it may be due to lack of advertising.We haven't done any, said Seifert. I just made up flyers and took them around. Word of mouth has been big - we've had a lot of interest from others.Room for expansion is quite possible for the business, if the need arises and more area craftspeople want to get involved. Eileen Seifert projects that people who have larger items could rent out floor space, and also mentioned that artwork could be hung from walls and even from the ceiling.We're just kind of taking it one day at a time, said Seifert. Hopefully, we will need to expand. I'm open to any ideas. I'm looking to see where this might lead. "

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