Maren’s Mercantile is open for business
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — If you’re in the market for a new pair of gloves, you can stop by Maren’s Mercantile, a traveling boutique of sorts that can be found at the Howelsen Ice Arena during figure skating shows and exhibitions.
Maren Sachs started Maren’s Mercantile, with Director of Figure Skating Celina Taylor, as a way to raise money for the Director’s Scholarship — a scholarship awarded each year based not on financial need necessarily, but on leadership and a positive attitude on and off the ice.
Nine-year-old Sachs is not a figure skater herself, but her twin sister Evie is.
“Evie loves to skate,” their mom Annie Sachs said. “It’s a wonderful and important part of her life, and now, Maren can be a part of that, too. It’s so fun to see Evie on the ice and Maren off the ice, both participating in their own ways.”
It all started when Maren was at one of Evie’s skating competitions and noticed some sparkly gloves for sale. Taylor mentioned she had a whole box full of black skating gloves in her office and asked Maren if she would like to help her bedazzle them.
“I had an idea to make the gloves and sell them to raise money for the scholarship,” Taylor explained, “and Maren jumped right in because that’s just a part of her personality — she’s always been one to find creative ways to raise money.”
To donate to Maren’s Mercantile’s scholarship fund, email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maren, who said she has held many lemonade stands and bake sales in the past, was eager to take her love for crafts and turn it into a way to support a good cause. She started with the gloves but soon expanded to hats, patches, skate guards and more. She also came up with a logo that she printed on cards and the name “Maren’s Mercantile.”
Her prices range from $2 to $15, and in the past few months since she started, she has raised $172, which will go toward the Director’s Scholarship.
“Maren very selflessly chose to give the money back, rather than to keep it,” Taylor said. “It’s so helpful because figure skating is very expensive, and many skaters struggle with the price.”
For example, ice time runs $195 an hour, making it nearly impossible for skaters to rent the ice for a private lesson. Taylor’s goal for the figure skating club is to provide group training to keep the costs down and foster team spirit, even though skating is such an individualized sport.
“I think it’s really important for young kids to feel like they’re part of a team,” Taylor said, “so I try to encourage a team-oriented atmosphere where everyone learns together.”
Whatever Taylor is doing, it seems to be working. When she started in 2017, the club had about 11 regular participants. That number is now up to 40. The skaters, who range in ages from 4 to 17, train together, participate in competitions and perform a show in Steamboat Springs each year. Last year, they presented “Mary Poppins,” and in 2020, they will perform “The Little Mermaid.”
“It’s great because the more people we have and the larger the program is, the more money we can raise and the more skaters we can help,” Taylor said.
As for Maren, she has plans to expand as well.
“I want to try to sell at other places around town in the future,” she said.
With her dedication, anything seems possible.
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