If you're tickled by a whim for creative living, there is a perfect place for you in Payson's Bonanza Square.
The gift boutique, Whims, and its sister operation, Creative Living, opened in June at 200 W. Frontier in Suite L.
Linda Dancoes owns and operates Whims, while Leslie Furubotten is the moving force at Creative Living.
Dancoes came to Payson last year to be near family. She said she's had family in the Rim country for about 10 years, so she had visited before making the move.
"I'm from a small town in New Hampshire," Dancoes said, "and after 9-11, I realized life is too short to be doing something that doesn't make you happy. I liked the town and the environment."
She and her partner looked at either buying an existing business or starting one of their own.
"He does furniture, and there were already plenty of furniture stores around, so we decided that would not be the route we'd take," Dancoes said.
Her background is in human resource management. She said the only thing she really researched before opening her gift store was the issue of real estate. She wanted a good location for sales, but one that was affordable.
The gifts at Whims are affordably priced, she said, and fill a void in the Rim country market for both tourists and residents. The idea of purchasing inventory that would move was not an issue for Dancoes. She said purchasing was part of her work in human resources and, so was dealing with people.
As for the inventory at Whims, Dancoes said, "I try to have something for all ages. The one group that is hard to buy for are teenage boys."
She carries shabby chic items, and has some kitchen pieces that she said seem to move fairly fast. Among her kitchen items is a line of cutlery.
Dancoes also has Whims stocked with a variety of resin and acrylic sculptures, many featuring outdoor and wildlife themes. These themes also dominate the line of prints on display. However, the shop's primary supplier has a massive and extremely diverse inventory, Dancoes said. If people don't see exactly what they have in mind, this one supplier has a large catalog.
Dancoes is already expanding the inventory she carries, even though the shop has only been open since June. Plus, Christmas gift items have started to arrive.
"If people want to place special orders for Christmas, now is the best time to do it. That way we know the vendors will most likely still have it in stock and the customers will be certain of having it in time for the holiday," Dancoes said.
About Creative Living
Furubotten was ready to open her shop in her home when she and Dancoes met at the business showcase.
Creative Living is a combination teaching studio and custom decor service. Furubotten's motto is "If you can imagine; you can create."
The classes she has available include:
- Art quilts -- "They're ‘no guilt' quilts because you can't make a mistake with them," she said;
- Ragged edge baby quilts;
- Faux chenille;
- Painted floor cloths;
- Trash-treasure doll houses.
"I'm seriously moving into sewing classes for children, from 8 to 15, for whoever wants to learn," she said. "I've met a few girls who really want to learn to quilt. Sewing is not something they're learning in school anymore. It's becoming a lost art."
The custom decor service is primarily based in doing window treatments. For a number of years, she worked for a Valley company that had designed a means to make upholstered window cornices using foam and fabric.
One of Furubotten's window treatments is featured in the Whims-Creative Living shop.
Another of Furubotten decorating talents is featured in the shop -- the spectacular wall painting, especially if you are a fan of the color purple. It is a skill she is willing to teach anyone interested.
Her home decor work also includes making duvet covers, pillows and cushions, along with special accent pieces.
Furubotten and her husband have lived in Payson about 18 months, moving up here after spending 40 years in the Valley.
If you have a whim for creative living, stop by Whims and Creative Living in Suite L at Bonanza Square, 200 W. Frontier St., or call (928) 468-9200. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday.