News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Artisans Boutique to close in October

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

Soon after its name change from The Craft Shack, Artisans Boutique is closing in October. 

“Since we opened, we’ve had so much come against us,” said Cindy Mudrick, owner/founder. “We opened, as many know, two months after the fires. We had 29 crafters with so much talent. The bridge was closed, so a lot of people were able to drive past the store coming in and out of town and see the store. We had a lot of support from shoppers, and it was so great.

“So many people had lost their homes in the fires and came into the store,” she continued. “I was able to talk about what they experienced and so many told me about how they lost everything. It was a sad, but amazing time!”

As well as running the store, Mudrick had what she called “a burden bear ministry” where she handed out bears to those hit hard by life. 

“God was so good,” she said. “I was also able to pray for people and several of the people were not church-goers and some didn’t even believe in God, but this is where he put me and my other crafters.”

After the bridge opened, Mudrick said the road in front of the store was then closed for construction, really hurting business.

“We struggled, but we didn’t give up,” she said. “We also were dealing with COVID, then the front door of our building was shattered by a rock. We were so blessed, even though we couldn’t show on our cameras if it was someone driving on the road that wasn’t supposed to or a rock being flung by the road crew. North Santiam Paving asked us to give them the invoice when we got it, and they paid the whole thing. You just can’t imagine how much we appreciated that!

“They also were the ones who shopped quite a bit with us,” she added. “Some came in and bought stuff for their wives or girlfriends, others for their children and one even came in and purchased stuff for his daughter’s wedding. They were great!”

Next, the Santiam Canyon was hit hard by an ice storm followed months later by a heat wave and a flagging economy. 

“With gas prices and food prices the way they are, people are just making it and don’t have the extra money to spend on things that are extra,” Mudrick said. About the opening of the store, she added, “I just don’t think it was our time.”

To date, no one has shown interest in taking over the store. 

“It would be amazing if someone could, but again, the economy is tough right now,” Mudrick said. 

Doors will close for good on Oct. 27, after all crafters remove their merchandise, she said. 

 “Some of us will have items marked down so we don’t have to bring it all back home and others will not,” she said. “Most I think will do craft events and I may do that also. But as far as what I will do after that point, I’m not really sure. My husband and I have tossed around the idea of traveling, maybe purchase a RV and go see the sights, visit family and friends who live out of state, just not sure yet.”

Mudrick thanks the crafters who believed and participated in the store. 

“We have nine who stayed with it from the beginning. and they are awesome crafters,” she said. “We have had so many talented and artistic people in the store, and each has blessed me in their very own ways.”

Mudrick also thanks the customers who came and shopped. 

“We have some regulars, and they also are amazing,” she said. “They love supporting small businesses when they can. I’ve had customers come in to just hang out and talk, and I loved getting to know them on a one-on-one basis. 

“God is so good, we had a very good run, and I have been so blessed.”

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