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Life Beyond the Holidays: Running a Christmas Shop Year-Round

Life Beyond the Holidays: Running a Christmas Shop Year-Round

When your shop is called “Gingerbread World” it’s pretty obvious that it’s at least kind of about Christmas. So, what do I do the rest of the year?

Life after Christmas is definitely a lot less hectic than during the Holiday Season. We move out of the big warehouse space and pack up the remaining inventory to move to our smaller storage spaces. We run our annual end of January Sale.

After about four months of working intensely together, Elizabeth (our Customer Service Manager and my very dear friend) goes back to her regular life where she is very busy chairing the Board of Mukanzo Children’s Orphanage in Congo, Africa as well as caring for her parents and kids. We still have regular “business meetings” but we talk a lot more about kids, travel, hobbies, books, shows, etc. than we do about Gingerbread World!!

For the past several years I’ve enjoyed offering year-round Collections from European designers and workshops that I’ve found during my travels to trade shows on the Continent. As you well know, travel to Europe is expensive so I only go every second year…this wasn’t the year :-( My husband and I both had business in Europe in February 2023 and had a fabulous time traveling together to shows and workshops. I’m hoping to have him along in early 2025!In February I already start planning for Christmas! Almost all of our orders for the Holiday Season are placed before the end of April. Between coffees and lunches with friends, pickle ball sessions and birding, I’m scouring catalogs and websites finding new items to add to the shop and deciding what and how many of everything I’ll order. Chocolate and confections to cookies and pastries to ornaments to folk art.

The Advent Calendar Collection is very fun to put together – I challenge myself to find at least two really unique additions to the Collection each year (I won’t give anything away but I’m very excited about what I’ve found!!).

Christmas starts for Gingerbread World at the end of August when Christmas Collections become available for Pre-Order. So, I’ll spend June, July and August working part-time on adding new items to the webshop and, very importantly, working on the annual printed catalog. This is a really large project and I am so glad to be working with graphic designer Dian again the year to pull all the photos and details together.

I’m lucky that I can do much of the summer work from the cottage so when I’m not packing orders in the warehouse I can be plunking away on my laptop while I enjoy the view of Lake Winnipeg. Coffee breaks are spent in the water or on the deck and the day ends at Happy Hour!!!

Christmas 2024 will be our 12th season with this fun little company! I feel so lucky to work with such unique products made by talented people and to do it with people like Eizabeth and Dian and so many others who are so good at what they do. And I am especially grateful for all of you – the many, many customers of Gingerbread World (some of whom have been customers long before I bought the company).

Enjoy your summer! We look forward to working with you again this Holiday Season. And we hope you’ll take a minute to check out the fabulous pieces we have available now in our Summer Collections.

Cheers!

Tamara
Owner of Gingerbread World

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Comments

Brita - May 26, 2024

Thanks for giving us some insight into the ladies behind the scenes! Love your selections!

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