Monica Mercer, owner of the Buoy at Devil’s Lake told members that this is her 4th season at the boutique that was once the old post office.  Sweet Annie’s that used to be on US223 formerly occupied that building and when they decided to get out of the business, Donna Baker and Monica went into business together and took over the building. Monica is an employee of Donna Baker & Associates and Brent is a partner in the firm.
Monica said that she and Donna love to travel to various locations to purchase items they sell in their store. Shoes, clothes, earrings, unique children’s’ items, etc. Their season runs from approximately May 1st to end of October. In November and December their shop is open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until New Year’s Eve! They are closed for the remainder of the winter months however.
Visitors to the store come from about every state in the union, Monica said. They are good for the business since shoppers just have to take something home to remind them of their visit to the Buoy and Devil’s Lake. Monica said that Manitou is growing. Developers are buying up homes in the area and turning them into office and retail spaces. Monica said that now is the time to visit her store and take advantage of a 10% discount!
She also spoke about the success of the Arts Festival and said the idea for it spawned at a regular village meeting where the group brainstormed what they needed to do to attract more people to the area. They were aware of the success of Adrian’s Art-A-Licious program and began thinking about how something similar to that might go over at Devil’s Lake. It was Donna Baker once again, Monica said, who was willing to take that project on as well! It then, of course became a reality which now boasts of a $30,000 budget!
Monica said that the art tent for the children that our club has supported allows them to have a great time each year at the festival. Many local artists and teachers also give of their time to make this a great experience for kids who want to learn art. One such volunteer even created a coloring book depicting local homes and cottages in the area. Monica said that about 4,000 people attended this past year.
A site called ZAPPlication, Monca said, enables individual artists to identify and apply online to multiple art shows they would be interested in attending through one central website, Singer Allie Louise along with the Saline Fiddlers performed at the festival last year, Monica said, and made a real hit with visitors to the event.
Monica closed by saying how very proud of her committee who work hard every year to make the festival a success.