You can’t go to 163 Orange St. to talk to Mayor Toni Harp about her reelection campaign—she won. But you could meet her there to talk about her holiday shopping list.
Harp’s headquarters for her most recent mayoral campaign race has been transformed into the new home for a Holiday Village pop-up shop that will be open every Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. until Dec. 22.
On Thursday, with the sounds of the Caribbean Vibes Steel Band creating a festive atmosphere, Harp and the small business contingent of her economic development team opened the pop-up shop urging people to shop small and local.
They also introduced Shana Schneider of Fitstyle by Shana, a company that provides one-hour walking tours of downtown New Haven for people who are tight on time but want to get some exercise while seeing the city. (Read more about that here.)
Harp said that during this time of year the holiday season isn’t memorable just because of what you buy but also because of the interactions that you have with people you encounter as you shop.
“The message we’re sending today is just this: come to New Haven,” she said. “Explore and enjoy New Haven and by all means shop in New Haven. It will make a memorable difference in your holiday preparations.”
The shop features local vendors like Tinaliah and Designs by Melba which feature handmade wares such as hats and jewelry.
Cathy Graves, city deputy economic development director, said that the vendors at the Holiday Village likely would not have had the foot traffic that they’ll now see because they don’t have storefronts.
“I think it is important that we support our small vendors,” she said. “That’s what we do in the small business department: we start them and we grow them and we also have to showcase them so come on down and enjoy the shopping today.”