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Hastings Trailblazer | Frost House

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The joy and spirit of Christmas are alive and well in Tweed at a new holiday vendor market that just opened for the season.

Frost House, located on Jamieson Street in the village, welcomes customers with a vintage, old-fashioned Christmas vibe, with holiday music playing on a retro record player, antiques from Christmases of the past, and a vast array of local, handmade items.

Tim Porter, founder of Tweed and Co. Theatre, is hosting the pop-up shop at his renovated 1887 homestead in the heart of the downtown. Though the house was originally intended as a performance and rehearsal space for his theatre group, Tweed and Co. had to take a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, Porter said, so he felt it was the ideal time to try a new venture.

Tim Porter, founder of Tweed and Co. Theatre, has opened a holiday market at his property – Frost House – in downtown Tweed to showcase local artisans and encourage local shopping.

“I have been collecting antiques for 10 years, so now that I had the free time, I decided to try it out,” he said about the market, adding that he was aware of many artisans in the area who were unable to participate in vendor shows this year due to the pandemic.

“It has really decimated the artists’ income for the year,” he said.
The upside of the slow theatre season has been the opportunity to put the finishing touches on the commercial space that now houses the market.

“The way things shook out, I have been so busy. This is the first year I’ve really had time to work on (the house),” Porter explained. His vision for Frost House has always included a commercial venture. Tweed’s one-of-a-kind Christmas market seemed like the perfect place to start.

In October, Porter contacted organizers of Tweed’s Studio Tour to see if he could round up a handful of vendors to be part of the pop-up market. By market opening on Dec. 1, he had 15 different artists showcasing a variety of goods in the Frost House shop and is continually seeing more interest in the space as word spreads.

The pop-up shop came together relatively quickly, and is displayed beautifully, showcasing the talented people who live in the region. There are even vendors participating in the market Porter didn’t know existed prior to hosting the event.

“I was shocked there were people I hadn’t connected with before,” he said. The variety of unique product came together nicely, with everything from beeswax candles and pottery, to upcycled mittens, vintage Christmas décor and jewelry all under one roof.

The shop has a sense of cohesiveness and community. “The vendors here really compliment one another nicely,” he said.

With online shopping at big box retailers a popular trend for holiday gift giving, Porter said, Frost house provides an alternative where visitors can shop by appointment, take their time, and pick the perfect gift – all while supporting a local entrepreneur.

In some ways, the pandemic has reinforced the idea of shopping at small, local retailers.

“Its been really great, it’s a nice opportunity for these artists to get some sales before Christmas,” he said, adding that he foresees pop-up shops gaining popularity as an alternative to one-day vendor shows.

“I’d love to see a local market here,” he said. The success of Frost House’s holiday market may inspire a spring market in the same space.

For those who aren’t comfortable with coming into the store, products from the market can be accessed on the Frost House online shop. Porter takes photos of all the product, uploads it to the site, and manages sales and delivery as part of his role in managing the market. Ensuring vendors are showcased in every way possible is important, he said, to ensure they’re getting exposure during what has been a challenging time for entrepreneurs.

Frost House is located at 14C Jamieson Street in Tweed. Appointments are encouraged for shopping, although drop-ins are always welcome. The market will be open until Dec. 24. To book an appointment, contact Porter at frosthouseinfo@gmail.com, or by phone at 416-476-1092.

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