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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Hyde Park woman's Sugar 'N Spice offers help with home decor

The storefront of Sugar 'N Spice heralds the holiday season. / Photo by Brittny Goodsell Jones

By Brittny Goodsell Jones

November 19, 2008 | HYDE PARK -- A lot of Cache Valley ladies have a house. Janna Barlow hopes to make them homes.

Barlow, owner of Sugar 'N Spice craft store in Hyde Park, said a house isn't a home until it's personalized.

"A house is barren ­ it's under construction" Barlow said. "But it becomes a home when you move into and it and make it yours by adding your own personal touch."

The phrase 'Make Your House a Home' is emblazoned on Sugar 'N Spice's front entrance. Inside are aisles of decorated Christmas trees, home décor and crafts. More than 25 percent of these products are made by local vendors.

Having a place for local vendors is an idea that helped start Sugar 'N Spice six years ago. Barlow used to make crafts and attend craft fairs for sales. The hard part was the time spent on setting her booth up just to take it down two days later. It was hard to be a local vendor, she said, because Cache Valley didn't have many places for local vendors to sell their product at. After advertising about the start-up of Sugar 'N Spice, Barlow said she easily filled up the store with local vendors.

"It's great because I can't buy anything that looks like the stuff they do," Barlow said.

Since expanding, she has largely incorporated décor products from companies outside of Cache Valley to fill up the shelves.

Merriett Falor, manager, said the business targets women ages 25 to 55. To help customer retention, Falor said homemade cookies are baked on Saturdays and given to all customers as they pass the cash register. Employees take turns making cookies. Parties, like the Pajama Party that happens this Saturday, are also thrown throughout the year. More than 300 people showed up for last year's pajama party. For Saturday's party, women can come to Sugar 'N Spice in their pajamas for the chance to win prizes, one prize being a $100 gift certificate to the store.

Falor said she and Barlow often get calls to decorate people's porch displays for the holidays. They take items from the store for decoration and then the homeowner pays for the product. Sugar 'N Spice has also shown their product in Cache Valley's annual Parade of Homes.

Even with the parties and time spent decorating people's porches, Barlow said she's not a total businesswoman and isn't obsessed with her business. She spends most of her time raising five kids instead of working 40 hours a week at Sugar 'N Spice.

"I love going in at night when no one is in the store and walking around saying, 'We did this,'" Barlow said. "It's a great accomplishment."

Sugar 'N Spice is at 3655 N. Highway 91 in Hyde Park.

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