If you’re looking for holiday spirit in Yelm this year, it won’t be hard to find. From a winter market and Selfie Spots to a “Keep the Cheer Here” campaign to support local businesses, the season will be in full swing as of November 27, also known as Small Business Saturday. Yelm Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Line Roy hopes Yelm shoppers will take advantage of the many specials and promotions local companies are offering and make Yelm their first stop when it comes to holiday shopping.
“Keep the Cheer Here” will run from November 27 through December 22. Anyone who shops at a local small business can submit their receipt to the chamber for a chance to have their entire purchase of up to $200 reimbursed. Drawings will happen once a week. “We did this last year and had a ton of entries,” says Roy. “It was really fun.” Local shoppers can also win prizes by posting a photo of themselves at one of the many Selfie Spots at businesses around town.
On December 11, the chamber will host a Winter Market at the Yelm Community Center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. featuring food and drink vendors, gifts and potentially a visit from one or more beloved holiday characters. All proceeds from gift wrapping will go to Yelm’s Business Economic Recovery Task Force, which provides grants for businesses affected by COVID-19.
Heidi and Lynette Potter, owners of Between Sisters Boutique & Gifts, will have a pop-up booth at the Winter Market. The store runs a 12 Days of Christmas promotion from December 1 through 16, with different items like denim, jewelry or sweaters on sale each day. The store will be posting notifications about the featured items on Instagram and Facebook the day before. They’ll also be offering a gift card special where shoppers purchase a certain amount and get more money added to their gift cards.
Also, in December, Between Sisters will host several trunk shows featuring local artists. “They’ll be here every Friday or every Friday and Saturday throughout the month,” says Heidi. “We’ll have a different artist with their table set up, and they’ll be selling their own creations.” Between Sisters also offers a gift registry called the Christmas Wish List, where customers can write what they want to receive, and friends and families can purchase those items.
At Funtime Toys & Gifts, the emphasis is on games and activities for all ages. Owner Heather Ekland says Pokémon cards are the top-selling item, followed closely by Funko toys like Star Wars-themed bobbleheads, Magic: the Gathering cards and Breyer collectible horses. Popular holiday items include Playmobil and LEGO sets. “We have 1,700 square feet, and it’s packed to the gills,” says Ekland.
She offers guidance for those who are visiting for the first time or may not know what they want. “I try to direct them a bit because the place can be a little overwhelming,” she says. “I get people who say, ‘I’m looking for an item for a five-year-old girl,’ and they’ll give me a few items that the girl likes. Usually, I can help them find something that’s exactly what they’re looking for – or what they didn’t know they were looking for.” Funtime also has not one but two Selfie Spot options for shoppers.
Across town at BeJoyful Holistics, owner Joy Hiebert is big on customer service. “We treat people like family when they come here,” says Hiebert. “It’s a really relaxing space where they can sit and take it all in. We always have something to eat or drink.” Shoppers can purchase a variety of gifts, including skincare products, candles, clothing, books, and trinkets. The shop is usually open until 6 p.m. but may offer extended hours through December.
Aside from products, BeJoyful provides services like microblading and peptide rejuvenation treatments. Hiebert typically runs a microblading special around the holidays and plans to run a sale on peptides as well. The pumpkin peptide treatment has been especially popular this fall, she notes.
Over the Nisqually River in McKenna, Bliss Experience Salon & Spa just reopened after closing for a week for final renovations after a car accident in May. The salon runs a 12 Days of Bliss promotion during the holidays with specials on different Aveda product lines each day. This year’s package features cherry almond, shampure and rosemary mint products. Aveda Hand Relief packages are in high demand every year, according to owner Stephanie Kangiser.
Kangiser is looking forward to welcoming clients and new customers now that the renovation is completed. “Before we had windows boarded up,” she explains. “We took down an entire wall here, and it feels so different. We’ll be able to celebrate the holidays more wholeheartedly.”
Many local businesses had to shut down temporarily during the pandemic and are only now beginning to recover. Heidi Potter of Between Sisters says the community made the difference. “When we reopened, the town rallied around our small business,” she says. “We felt the love and support, and we are so grateful. We wouldn’t be here without it.”
Learn more by visiting the Yelm Chamber of Commerce website or calling 360.458.6608.