SOUTH PORTLAND — Chaya Studio Jewelry’s owner, Chaya Caron, sees her annual holiday pop-up sale as a way to support local artists and the South Portland community as well as a way to help out local nonprofits.

Beginning on Nov. 29, the jewelry store, located on 22 Cottage Road in South Portland, will be hosting work from 25 different local artists in the building’s shared space through Dec. 24, Caron said.

There will be a little bit of everything, Caron said, from materials like leather to fine metals, paintings and photography, and even paper goods like journals and cards. Prices start at $2 and a portion of the proceeds will be going to Camp Sunshine.

Camp Sunshine is an organization providing retreats and activities to children with life-threatening illnesses, offering support and fun to their families as well, says the group’s website.

Caron said that she’s been working with Camp Sunshine for the past four years and has been able to sponsor a local family, allowing them to participate in camp activities and retreats for free.

“One of the things that’s been important to me about this event is cultivating community and by offering the space to not only some of my own work, but to the other artists, it helps to welcome in the local community,” Caron said. “By having it be a fundraiser it becomes bigger than just buying a gift for someone we love. We’re contributing to a really important nonprofit.”


When she’s picking a charity to work with, Caron said that she has some requirements.

“I choose one that is local and is focused on children,” she said. “Prior to Camp Sunshine, it was Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I’ve been switching it up and spreading the money around.”

She said that by making the event a fundraiser, she’s giving it a greater purpose.

Over the past few years, Caron said that she has been getting a customer following who love the idea of supporting the arts in addition to the charity work.

“They love that there’s an opportunity to have local products that are in South Portland instead of Portland,” she said.

Caron said that she started doing these sorts of events about 10 years ago, back before she had her current location and store.


“I got together with two artist friends and we decided we were going to do an art show, and we had a mutual friend with a gallery space,” she said. “She was looking for something to go into the available gallery space. We decided to make it a charity event. That event was a two-week-long thing. I loved it. I loved the camaraderie, that it was a fundraiser. It all felt really good.

“The next year I decided to take it on myself,” she said. “My friends weren’t interested in doing it again, so that involved me raising money in my own studio.”

The store will be open late on Nov. 29 and Dec. 13 for a happy hour, Caron said. There will be two three-day silent auctions, both beginning on those dates, where customers and donors can bid on donated items.

Chaya Studio Jewelry will be involved in the Knightville Holiday Stroll on Dec. 13, Caron added.

In addition to the proceeds, Caron also does a raffle, she said. The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to Chaya Studio. Caron said the price for a raffle ticket is $5 or five tickets for $20.

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