The Christmas Cottage

Pendleton store gets customers
in the Christmas spirit early

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

PENDLETON, Ky. (October 2003) – In years past, Darin Fetz and Tony Nichter have become so wrapped up in the sights and sounds of Christmas that friends suggested they open their own business. From August until the last weekend before Christmas, the Christmas Cottage is open in Pendleton, Ky.

Darin Fetz

Photo by Helen E. McKinney

Darin Fetz of The Christmas Cottage

Nichter said the pair put together the business within three months time. The business is located at 897 Pendleton Rd., about a quarter mile north of the Pendleton exit of I-71. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
In the four-month period the business is open each year, a variety of fall and holiday items are offered for sale. The selection includes Halloween decorations, folk art items, pre-decorated Christmas trees, a variety of ornaments, home decor and floral arrangements.
Nichter, who is originally from Oldham County, moved to Pendleton nine years ago. Fetz is a Milltown, Ind., native. Three years ago they decided to give the business a try and renovated a storage shed on the property. They laid carpet, built shelves and painted the building, transforming it into a winter wonderland.
“I’ve always loved Christmas and had a tree in every room of the house,” said Fetz. Decorating with garlands, quaint tree trimmings and a myriad of twinkling lights just seemed to make the season more festive for him.
Having worked in retail for the last 20 years, Fetz drew on this experience to run the business. Both men craft most of the floral arrangements and the pre-decorated Christmas trees, which range in price from $29.99 to $85. Smaller, tabletop trees are potted, and some are flocked, making them appear as if snow had just fallen on the tips of the branches.
The trees are popular because “people are so busy,” said Fetz. They are also convenient for elderly customers because a huge bag can be placed over the entire tree, and it can be stored away out of sight until the next year. Everything is glued on the tree except for the lights, which may need to be replaced from time to time.
According to Fetz, the Christmas Cottage carries more unusual decorating items that cannot be found at larger department stores. This affords patrons quite a variety of items to choose from close to home.
The clientele of the Christmas Cottage is a combination of local customers and patrons from Louisville. Fetz said the business’s reputation has been spread mostly by word of mouth.
Many repeat customers return because the “prices are unbelievably low,” said Fetz. He said the Christmas Cottage is the only store in the area to carry Candleberry Company candles. This is a Frankfort, Ky.-based company that produces candles in a variety of holiday-themed scents, such as roasting chestnuts and a fragrant bourbon-scented candle. Candle prices range from $9.99 to $19.99.
Fetz said that he and Nichter spend approximately 15 hours a week preparing for the holiday season. This is a “year-round job” for both. In order to stock their shelves with one-of-a-kind items, Fetz said, “We shop March and April to find the best deals.”
A Holiday Open House is scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.

For more information contact Fetz or Nichter at (502) 743-5919.



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