Can you really do Christmas year-round? “Yes. Yes, you can!” says Jenn Mangum-Whaley of Midway. “At Swiss Days, every year I’d have a Christmas booth, and it did so well, I thought, `I’m going to try it!’” So, together with her husband, Jason, they opened Kringles, the only retail store in Heber Valley selling Christmas year-round.
Jenn, who was an accounting major at BYU, and worked as an interior designer for 15 years in the DC area before moving to Midway five years ago. “I’m kind of a serial entrepreneur. I love business. That’s my background. I love design, but I especially love running the stores.” Jen is also the owner of Spruce Personalized Décor, conveniently located directly across the street from Kringles in downtown Midway.
“I do very well with Christmas at Spruce. And I thought, ‘Midway could use a year-round Christmas shop.’ I saw a real niche here. A need.” Popular with tourists, Jenn admits, “Half the people who come into my shop are from out of town. During their visits, many customers say things like, ‘This makes me so happy,’ or, ‘I feel like I’m in a Hallmark movie.’ So that’s been really nice. It brings people joy. And that’s fun.”
Ironically, Hallmark recently chose to film a scene in Kringles for one of their upcoming Holiday movies! And why? It’s quaint. It’s charming. It’s adorbs (as the kids say)! And that’s by design. “I’ve been in other year-round Christmas shops. Some of them feel more like big box stores, and I wanted this to feel more charming, unique.” (Nailed it, Jenn!)
As I walk into the store, I feel like I’ve just arrived back home, and it’s Christmas time. From the music to the aroma to the many insightful displays, I am flooded with memories and reminded of the hope and joy I feel each year during the holiday season.
No matter what your taste in holiday décor is, Kringles has you covered. “There are trends even in Christmas,” Jenn admits. “[For example, there are] color trends. We have people who like traditional colors, and we have those who want colors that blend in with the décor of their home. So I like to have options. Rustic definitely does better here in Midway, but I try to put out some fun, unique whimsical things too in the store.”
And this is where the synergy of owning a Christmas retail store and an interior design firm across the street comes into play. “It’s about giving people things that make their home feel happy. I really try to listen and hear what people are asking for.”
And, what are they asking for right now? “. . . lanterns, advent calendars, snow globes, ornaments, big Santas, and metal bells.” (Thanks Midway Swiss Hand Bell Ringers and Heber Valley Railroad’s Polar Express.)
But, what if you don’t know what you want yet? Or, you think you own it all already? “I have several designers who work with me. We rotate decorating our trees, for example, each featuring a different style.” So, in theory, shoppers can walk in with no clue what they want, view Kringles’ professionally decorated trees, and then pick one. “I had someone call me the other day and say, ‘I want all the decorations on that tree, and I want that tree. Can I do that?’”
“Yes!” said Jenn enthusiastically. Kringles also offers a small gift wrapping and baby section, which, if you stop to think about, kind of makes sense in a Christmas store!
Located in one of Midway’s historic homes built by the Epperson family in 1870, Kringles fits in perfectly. It doesn’t take much to imagine this building begging for years to “Make me a Christmas store!” And now it is. The store sells homemade peppermint ice cream and offers free seasonal visits with Santa Claus aboard his vintage, magic sleigh. Kringles is definitely a one-of-a-kind holiday shopping experience that will warm your heart all year round.
Santa Claus Visits Kringles!
6 South 200 West, Midway
Each Saturday (Nov-Dec)
12 P.M. To 2:30 P.M.
Bring Your Camera!