July 23, 2014

‘Sweet Grass’ grows at former driving range

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Alyson Chase stands in the vestibule of Sweet Grass Gallery & Gifts in front of several of her handcrafted floorcloths. (Observer photo by Luke Baynes)

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

If buying local is your thing, then Sweet Grass Gallery & Gifts is your place.

Sweet Grass, which features the work of 38 local artists, offers a selection of floorcloths, handbags, glasswork, jewelry, pottery, photography and many other arts and crafts.

Located at the site of the former Williston Driving Range on Williston Road, Sweet Grass was formerly known as WAG Holiday Market. It is co-owned and operated by Alyson Chase and Lori Yarrow, both of whom pull double duty as proprietors and artists.

As its former name made clear, Sweet Grass is a seasonal business. This year it opened for business Sept. 15 and will close for the season on Dec. 26.

Chase said the initiative began last year as a cooperative between local female artists.

“It’s something I’d wanted to do for years,” Chase said. “I have a group of women artists in Richmond called WAG, which is the Women Artists’ Guild of Richmond. So we did it as a cooperative.”

The revamped Sweet Grass sells local arts and crafts on a consignment basis and keeps a percentage of the sales proceeds. Prices range from $1 for a piece of candy to $300 for more elaborate works of art.

“We made sure that we have something in here at every price point,” Chase said.

She noted that their clientele is a combination of locals and tourists, along with the occasional misguided golfer looking to hit a bucket of balls. She said business has been slow in recent weeks, but she expects it to pick up as the holidays approach.

“We get a lot of browsers at this point,” she said. “They’re thinking about the holidays and so they come in and take a look and say they’ll be back, and a lot of them do come back.”

For more information about Sweet Grass Gallery & Gifts, visit www.sweetgrassgalleryvt.com.

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