This holiday season, shop local at Bazaar by the Bay

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With the holiday season approaching, local stores may be able to provide ideas for the perfect gifts. Bazaar by the Bay, the gift shop located at Semiahmoo Marina, boasts a coffee bar and handmade items from Birch Bay and Blaine artisans.

Although the gift shop has been open for the past 15 years, some people may not even know about its existence.

“There are very unique gifts here, and we’d love to have people be aware of them,” Semiahmoo Marina office administrator Sally Howell said. “People can get a latte, wander around and look at all the great works.”

Bazaar by the Bay is open every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its consigners include local painters, knitters, woodcarvers, glass blowers, jewelry makers and other crafters.

Consigners choose the prices for their items, and they receive those profits. The gift shop marks the initial price up by 30 percent.

“We’re always looking for new consigners,” Howell said. Those interested in consigning can contact the café by emailing krisb@semiahmoomarina.com.

Blaine artist Georgia Donovan has been a consigner with the marina gift shop for the past year and a half.

“It’s been really nice,” Donovan said about the partnership. “I’ve done a few painted items, but mostly I do the prints or original paintings that they have on the wall, which they’ve been so gracious to share as my own personal gallery.”

Donovan has been painting for the past 20 years. During her 18 years in Blaine, she has painted works with a historical focus. Her first paintings were of “the cannery girls,” local women of years past who packed salmon at the former cannery at Semiahmoo.

“My work is quite whimsical,” Donovan said. “I’m not formally trained, but over the years I’ve become an artist.”

Donovan has also painted the Plover ferry and birds local to the area, such as herons. She will have a new line of greeting cards displayed at Bazaar by the Bay this holiday season, titled “Holiday Myths of the Northwest.”

Birch Bay candle artisan Kim Prescott has been consigning with the marina gift shop since this past summer. Her business, Candles by The Bay, sells not only candles but also soaps, lotions, body sprays and lip balms. Like many businesses, hers began as a hobby.

“It started as a way to make candles for family and friends,” Prescott said. “I got really intrigued in the process of it. If I can make candles, surely I can make soap, and surely I can make lotion.”

She first did online research on how to craft her products. After taking notes and experimenting, Prescott has been able to perfect her recipes. Some of the ingredients in her soap include shea butter, goat milk and a variety of oils, such as palm, coconut, olive and sunflower oils.

“I play around with all kinds of stuff,” Prescott said. “I’m pretty passionate about it.”

Currently, Prescott’s aloe lotion is a bestseller at Bazaar by the Bay. She said lip balms are also popular at the store.

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