During this era of fur babies and family members with paws, why not give unique and hand-made gifts to the creatures that give you all those cuddles and love! Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest’s pop-up Gift Shop in the Nickels-Sortwell House barn is featuring the best in cat toys, and some for dogs, too, from High Tail Toys, a new venture with your pet in mind.
According to Paula Brown, co-owner of High Tail Toys with Amy Wirtanen, of Boothbay, “Our beautiful cat caves, mats, baskets, and pet toys are all handcrafted by indigenous female artisans in Nepal. They are made of 100% New Zealand wool, with no harsh dyes or chemicals, and all the products are certified Fair Trade.” And they are cute! Colorful and cozy.
The idea for developing a business that caters primarily to felines, Brown explained, comes from her longtime volunteer work fostering kittens for Midcoast Humane in Brunswick. Not only does she offer a product that cats enjoy, but High Tail Toys donates 20% of its net profits to Midcoast Humane in support of the foster kitten program.
High Tail Toys is a multi-mission small business. Brown said that she and Wirtanen work with small Nepali businesses that offer beautifully handcrafted, Fair Trade certified felted goods. These businesses employ skilled female artisans and support them with fair wages, medical reimbursement, and assistance with tuition and school supplies for their children. High Tail Toys further supports small businesses by purchasing catnip and silvervine from woman-owned manufacturers in the U.S.
For fine pet furnishings and toys, and hand-made items meant for humans, the pop-up Holiday Gift Shop is open Dec. 2 - 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, in the Nickels-Sortwell House barn on Federal St. in Wiscasset Village. For details about Marketfest weekend, including the Gift Shop vendors, visit www.wiscassetholidaymarketfest.com.
The Major Sponsors supporting Marketfest’s community activities are Carriage House Gardens, Davison Construction, First National Bank, IndustrialME, J. Edward Knight Insurance, Midcoast Federal Credit Union, Red’s Eats, Rock Paper Scissors, Water Street Kitchen and Bar, and Wiscasset Ford with additional support from BIRCH Home Furnishings & Gifts, Bradbury Art & Antiques, Camden National Bank, M.W. Sewall, Old and Everlasting, Red Bull Antiques, Sprague’s Lobster, Treats, and Water Lily Flowers & Gifts.
Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest is a partnership between Wiscasset Creative Alliance and Wiscasset Area Chamber of Alliance.