By Joe Smillie
For Peninsula Daily News
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A fixture in the city's commercial center since 1972, Golden Crafts Shop on Lincoln Street will close its doors at the end of business Monday, Christmas Eve.
The store features hand-crafted gifts made by artisans 50 and older.
“Some things just have to come to an end. Here we are,” said Linda Jadasohn, one of the volunteer staffers of the consignment shop.
While sales of the wooden toy airplanes and ferries, as well as handmade baby clothes, have remained strong — even against the competing blips of the digital gift realm — volunteer Nancy Williams said the number of hobbyists selling their wares in the store has dipped in recent years.
“Unfortunately, the Internet and iPhones and everything have taken over people's free time,” Williams said.
Added a wistful Jadasohn: “If only the power would go out. People would get cold and need to make more blankets — or, excuse me, afghans.”
Jadasohn said the roster of volunteers willing to keep the store open and jockey the cash register also has fallen in recent years.
Foot traffic at the store has slowed since Golden Crafts moved to Lincoln Street five years ago, she said.
For more than two decades, the store was in the building at 105 E. Front St. in Port Angeles that now houses Cock-a-doodle Doughnuts.
Customers, often carrying doughnuts, come into the current location asking when the business moved, Williams said, adding that the move was made 12 years ago.
The store is a popular stop for gift buyers looking for homemade clothes for Barbie, polished-stone jewelry or posh hand-carved jewelry boxes made of exotic wood, volunteers said.
Melanie Cloud-Smith of Port Angeles walked into the store Wednesday afternoon on the off chance she might find a cowl to give her sister. Williams showed her several different varieties of the neck garment.
“I haven't seen these since my grandma made them,” Cloud-Smith said.
Golden Craft's guestbook has logged shoppers from five of the world's seven continents.
“We have one lady from Virginia who stops in once or twice a year on her way to Victoria and buys generously gifts to take with her,” said Williams, whose knit and crocheted hats, scarves and blankets deck the store's racks.
Another shopper from Seattle has been one of the store's biggest buyers of Hardanger embroidery, an intricate Norwegian latticed linen that frequently is used to spruce up seating cushions and tablecloths.
Jadasohn, the self-titled “Scrubbie Lady,” has sold her handmade nylon scrub pads, a hot item in the store, to buyers as far away as China.
Golden Crafts will be open every day through Monday, including special Sunday hours of noon to 4 p.m.
Remaining stock will be returned to the consignors.
The store group plans to sell off the fixtures after closing day.
“It's your last chance,” Jadasohn said.