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Open House at Scotts Valley Artisans' Christmas Store Friday

Come out for cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog, a visit with Santa, and holiday shopping that supports local artists.

Why risk getting trampled at a big box store on Black Friday when you can sip cocoa and support local artists instead?

The Scotts Valley Artisans non-profit community art center is holding an Open House on Friday, with a very special guest.

Held in their Christmas boutique, put together earlier this month, the event is from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m., with Santa Claus making his arrival from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

"We just set the whole back room up, and that way people don't have to do Christmas if they don't want to," said Dawn Teall, owner of Scotts Valley Artisans. "We didn't want to do the whole store Christmas."

Interestingly, the non-profit arts collective, which supports 150 local artists, got its beginnings as a tiny Christmas Boutique.

"People remember us for that, and they come looking for that boutique not knowing we've moved," said Dawn Teall, who hasn't done a Christmas Boutique since 2010, in the old location next to Erik's Deli.

Back by popular demand, the Christmas Boutique is located in the same King's Village Shopping Center it used to be in, but now it's in a much larger store across from the Cinelux Theater.

Teall's vision was to create a one-stop shopping experience where quality gifts can be gift wrapped in-store.

"Aside from us there's just Kmart or Walgreen's in Scotts Valley, or driving over the hill or into town," she says.

The Christmas Boutique is stocked with handcrafted goods from their regular artists as well as a few new ones they pulled in for the occasion.

Expect a plethora of ornaments and wreaths, wrapping papers, cards, scarves and hats, sock monkeys, candles, soaps and many other "gifty" items.

There are also art-related kid's arts kits (which are an exception to the all-hand crafted rule), including beating kits and acrylic painting kits for beginners.

The Christmas Boutique is a fundraiser for Scotts Valley Artisans, which has ambitious plans for the year ahead. Among them, they are planning three more murals, a continued building of their Art in Public Places program, and a proposal for a youth arts program.

Scotts Valley Artisans is at 230-D Mount Hermon Road in Scotts Valley. Cal 831-439-9094 for more information.

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