West Haven college student continues family tradition of running local Christmas store

New Haven

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It wasn’t a vision of a sugar plum for Tyler Newkirk. He visioned retail success and it’s happening.

Newkirk created the Tyler Newkirk Craft Company at age 15. It’s home to intricate decorations and one of a kind ornaments. Now 20, he is a theater major at Southern Connecticut State University.

“It’s weird thinking back on that now,” Newkirk said. “That ‘wait a minute you guys just gave me this store and let me do whatever I want with it.’ It’s crazy to look back on.”

Growing up, he watched his grandmother run a similar store. So when this space sat empty for years, he knew he could capitalize if he put his crafting skills to work.

Newkirk said, “It was a little barn and people really love the small intimate feeling of it.”

He makes all the wreaths, cards, and several of the ornaments himself. Business tripled over the past five years.

“It’s really rewarding to kind of stand back and be like ‘wait a minute I did this myself’ and every year you have your doubts. You don’t know what the clientele is going to be, you don’t know if this is the year it drops. So, it’s definitely nice to stand back and say I did it again.”

They close up for the season on Dec. 23. So if you missed this year, don’t worry. He’ll be back open in 2020 for the holiday shopping season.

Visit the Tyler Newkirk Craft Company website here.

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