Brynn Kanikula, of Shredded Threds, has fun with Jessica Lapachin, event organizer at Project North Art Festival. Kanikula has been doing her own planning, for Country Christmas Crawl, which will be held Saturday at five locations (Elkhorn, Eagle, Palmyra and two in Genesee Depot.)(Submitted photo)

Country Christmas Crawl aims for safe shopping option

By Heather Ruenz

Staff Writer

Five countryside businesses have joined forces to offer a safe holiday shopping experience. Rather than hosting one large event with multiple vendors in one space, the five businesses will showcase the work of hundreds of artists and consigners in their stores and boutiques.

The Country Christmas Crawl is designed to highlight as many local artists’ work as possible while reducing the number of artists being present to sell at each location. Spreading out shoppers to make customized holiday shopping less crowded and more manageable is also a main goal of this Christmas Crawl, according to event manager Brynn Kanikula.

Kanikula is a local artist who owns Shredded Threads in Mukwonago.

“This year, I have personally felt the struggle of having to shift my selling strategy. Typically, this is my high-season selling custom scarfs at fine art fairs and other large gathering events. With these events canceled, I’ve had to find new ways to showcase my products,” Kanikula said.

That led to her making a shift to displaying her work at local businesses and boutiques. And, she said, she knows she’s not the only local artist out there who has had to get creative with selling this year.

“After speaking with some of these local business owners about how they were going to handle holiday shopping this season, I had an idea. Why not spread out shopping throughout multiple locations to create a more manageable experience? We can still showcase the work of local artists without needing the hundreds of artists to be present,” she said.

After the idea it was time to plot stores in the countryside, within a 25-mile radius, who had or could host local artisan products.

“We wanted to make sure there was a manageable drive time between each location, but also enough time to spread out shoppers and reduce congestion. We started contacting these businesses, and before you knew it, a Christmas Crawl was born,” Kanikula said.

Hundreds of artists

The Country Christmas Crawl will be on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held at the following host locations:

  • ABCDfarmhouse, N849 County Road H, Palmyra, 253-380-9036;
  • Apple Barn Orchard and Winery, W6384 Sugar Creek Road, Elkhorn, 262-728-3266;
  • Eagle Public Market, 111 E. Main St., Eagle, 262-594-7002;
  • Bonjour Again Upscale Resale, S42W31370 WI-83, Genesee Depot, 262-968-3100;
  • This & That at The Mill, S42W31254 WI-83, Genesee Depot, 262-968-2350.

Extended hours for the crawl will be offered at the Apple Barn and Eagle Public Market.

The event will feature more than 500 area artisan and consigner products set up around the stores of the five locations. Items for sale will include: home décor, furniture, holiday décor, cookery and kitchen, food, fashion, bath and body, health and beauty, warm weather wears, designer clothing, handbags and accessories. Gifts for children and pets will also be sold at certain locations.

Each location will have a special holiday offering such as build your own holiday baskets, stocking stuffer ideas, specialty beverages and raffle prizes. The five co-hosts will also have a food and/or beverage option available for purchase to take on the road.

In addition to not requiring artists to be present while offering shoppers a variety of holiday décor and gifts in manageable locations, the footprint of the crawl will limit travel for shoppers.

“The drive time between each location is about 15 minutes for a total drive time of a little over an hour. This is designed to help with flow and spacing,” Kanikula said in a press release.

Shoppers are asked to adhere to social distancing practices. Hand sanitizer and washing stations will be provided at each location.

For more information search “Country Christmas Crawl” on Facebook.

One-of-a-kind scarfs

Kanikula started Shredded Threads four years ago. She said she’s been sewing since she was 16, but stepped away from that to get a degree in business.

“I came back to artistry when I realized how much textile waste there was in the retail industry and what I could do with the deadstock material,” she explained.

Deadstock is the result of over-production of garments, which leads to a lot of material waste that goes unused.

“Essentially, millions of pieces that can go to a landfill or be incinerated every year due to it never being used or purchased,” Kanikula said. “That’s where I come in and use the material in a creative way.”

Kanikula began to source designer garment material and found a way to deconstruct it and reconstruct it into a wearable piece of art.

“My scarfs began to take form and each is pieced together in a unique way that not one is like the other… all 100% one-of-a-kind. I use vintage buttons and other embellishments to finish my pieces,” she said.

Kanikula said she’s honored to have worked alongside other national and international artists in her career and is even more fulfilled knowing she is giving back.

“That is why it is our mission to reduce the amount of textile waste produced by over-manufacturing and curtail our ecological footprint,” she said.

Kanikula said her scarfs are evolved from hundreds of designer garments – and are rescued before they are destroyed – in an effort to promote sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint.

She fulfills roles as lead seamstress and chief shredding designer.

“I balance artistry with upcycling to reconstruct every last shred of thread into wearable art that fits your unique personality,” Kanikula said.

For more information on Shredded Threads call 262-592-4148, follow Shredded Threads on Facebook, or visit myshreds.com.

 

 
 

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