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Favorite Things: Little Red Schoolhouse manager Tracy Kraft and the front display

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Though we have so many neat things in this store, my favorite thing in the store is our front display. It is what you see on first entry of our establishment, and it is an ever-changing landscape just like the contents of our business. The fun part about coming in here and being greeted with this is that you can see it, touch it and smell it. That is better than shopping online.

We change the front display for holidays and special events. If you ever need that one special gift, the front display has that with its constantly changing treasures.

This wasn’t always the case. It used to be a constant display then became about 10 years ago an always changing thing.

We usually start with a theme or focal point. Last year we did a vintage Christmas toy theme, but now we want to go with Christmas straight out of the 50’s.

I like to see the look on people’s faces when they see what is here. The items we’ve done in this Christmas display reflects a lot of people’s childhoods. I may not want to see Christmas stuff until December either, but this is retail. People are already shopping for Christmas decorations and Christmas gifts.

I see people come in and remember the Shiny Brights on grandma and grandpa’s tree, the vintage elves, the vintage Santas and the vintage blow molds that were out in their yards.

We happen to have a lot of the old and new Shiny Bright ornaments here and throughout the store.

Seeing these displays make me remember things too. Some of the vintage candles and ornaments remind me of my grandma and grandpa’s trees. The vintage stockings remind me when we never had a fireplace to hang our stockings, but my mom would buy us these fake brick fireplaces where we would hang our stockings and gather around thinking we were actually getting warm.

Even if you don’t like what is in the display, we are a small business and small business shopping is the way to go. We have 45 vendors of vintage things and we’ve been here for 25 years.

It is just so amazing to me that people come in here, see this and tell me that they are already done with their Christmas shopping.

(This interview was edited and condensed by Dennis Burck. If you have a recommendation for “Favorite Things,” please email dennis@lansingcitypulse.com.)

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