Helen E. McKinney
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.
by Helen E. McKinney
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.
Ive 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
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 businesss 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
For more information contact Fetz or Nichter at (502) 743-5919.