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Rigby couple opens holiday-themed decor, game and toy store

Business & Money

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RIGBY – When Jennifer and Jarek Smith of Rigby started selling items on Ebay and Amazon five years ago, they weren’t planning on it becoming a full-time business.

But that’s exactly what happened and they couldn’t be happier.

The couple opened a brick-and-mortar store at 458 North 4000 East next to the old Manwaring Cheese location in Rigby earlier this month. It’s called The Holidae Shop and offers a variety of holiday-themed decor items, games and toys.

“I’m a huge board game/card game fan and my wife decorates endlessly for every single holiday. (Among) the private label items we created for Amazon, our bestsellers were always Christmas-related,” Jarek says. “We decided we should probably be selling our private label stuff in-house.”

The couple started making their own Santa letters, which they sold at Christmastime in a large bundle. They were always a hit, Jarek says, and that inspired them to begin making more of their own products.

Another one of their popular original items is the Santa surveillance kit that involves putting cameras around the house that provide daily reports from Santa’s elves on how kids are behaving in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There’s also a Santa key so Santa can get in homes without chimneys.

The store has a whole showroom devoted to holiday goods and treats and a room for toys and games. The store focuses on providing mainstream family-oriented games that aren’t widely available in every store.

The business also has a loft upstairs for monthly family game nights and date nights for couples. Get a look inside in the video player above.

Though The Holidae Shop evolved from selling things online, it’s not what Jarek originally set out to do. He got his start working in the corporate potato manufacturing world. It was his first job out of college that provided a steady income for his family. But it didn’t take long to realize that he had a much larger vision for himself.

“I like pushing limits. They wanted to stick to norms,” he says. “After five years … I decided to leave.”

When the Smiths decided to focus on growing their online business, they operated out of their home for a while before acquiring the space they currently occupy. It was used as an inventory warehouse before they turned it into a store.

holidae shop storefront
The Holidae Shop is near Jefferson County Lake next to the old Manwaring Cheese location in Rigby. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

“The idea to open the shop (stemmed) from taking our kid around town and just realizing there weren’t a lot of (retail) stores. You can find 7-10 different salons here … and there are two candy stores and some ice cream joints,” says Jarek. “There’s only one store that carries even remotely some general store items (like we now offer).”

In the last several weeks, Jarek says many people have told him there hasn’t been anything like his shop since King’s closed down in 2017.

Though the storefront is just getting started, Jarek says he’s hoping to expand sometime in the future by adding a lounge area where customers can play games before they buy or participate in craft activities. He’d also like to add a cafe and a small book section.

“There’s no bookstore in Rigby and we’ve had a couple of customers asking us to start carrying books as well,” he says. “We just don’t have the space right now, but hopefully (in the future) we can do that.”

Overall, the Smiths says their goal is to create a unique experience for customers who come in to shop.

“We’re still working on curating the perfect mix of goods and we’d love the community’s feedback on other items they’d like to see available,” Jennifer says.

For those who don’t live in Rigby, The Holidae Shop will be at several events in Idaho Falls over the next several months. Among them is the Boo-tique Craft Fair at the Shilo Inn Event Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Thunder Ridge Harvest Market on Nov. 13 at Thunder Ridge High School and Santa’s Workshop Craft Fair on Dec. 4 at the Shilo Inn Event Center.

The Holidae Shop is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

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