February 2018 Newsletter
It's hard to believe it is already 2018! The Chamber was very active in 2017 and with our members support, we were able to hold many successful events with record turnouts. In addition, we hosted a variety of meetings, forums and workshops that helped our region address economic challenges, brought diverse organizations and businesses together and educated our business community on important topics. If you would like to see a review of the many events held this year along with photos, click here to see a short movie/presentation.

We are actively planning some new initiatives for 2018 including a revamped WEB site, a "Cohase Cash" initiative (discussed later in this newsletter), a regional Road Rally, and a Holiday Decorating Contest. This is in addition to our annual events which include our Regional Business Breakfast, Paddle the Border, Garden Tour & Tea, Farm Tour, 48 Hour Film Slam, Economic Summit and Annual Meeting. We also have a number of exciting educational opportunities planned for our membership as well.

If you have not paid your 2018 membership dues yet, please send them in as soon as possible. If you are a seasonal business and intend to renew but wish to wait to be billed until July, just let us know that as well!

Thanks as always for your support!


Erik Volk
Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Please visit our WEB page at www.cohase.org for more details on any of these events and a listing of other events in our area. Details of the Featured Events listed below appear at the bottom of our WEB page.

February 17 - Moonlight Snowshoe Event, North Haverhill, NH
February 18 - North Country Chamber Players, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
February 19 - Game Night, Colatina Exit, Bradford, VT
February 23 - Richie Hackett, Colatina Exit, Bradford, VT
March 3 - Session Americana, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
March 14 - Pi(e) Day Fundraiser, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
April 6 - RaiZed on Radio, Room 111, Woodsville, NH
April 7 - Green Mountain Mega Spring Meltdown, Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT
April 8 - De Temps Antan, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
April 21 - Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
May 9 - Cohase Chamber Regional Business Breakfast, Colatina Exit, Bradford, VT
May 20 - Paddle the Border, Woodsville, NH
Member Moment - Trendy Threads
This month we are pleased to speak with Janice Scruton, owner of Trendy Threads in Woodsville, New Hampshire. Trendy Threads is a retail consignment store offering quality used clothing for the entire family as well as shoes, jewelry, accessories, music CDs and movie DVDs. Trendy Threads is located at 171 Central Street in Woodsville, adjacent to her husband Gary’s business Trendy Times. You can contact Trendy Threads by phone at (603) 747-3870, online at www.TrendyThreadsWoodsville.com , on Facebook or email Janice at trendythreads@yahoo.com .

How long have you been in business and have you always been at this location?
As of this month, I have been doing this for 20 years, since February 10, 1998. I originally operated the business under the name Cheap Kids II in Barre, Vermont. (The original Cheap Kids was run by my sister in Orford, who ran that store for 30 years. She closed this past October.) I started the business because I got laid off one too many times and wanted to do something on my own. I was looking to do something that could use my people skills and I didn’t mind doing paperwork. My sister said “Try this, you’ll like It!” and she was right!  I started out in a tiny place right on North Main Street in Barre Vermont, on the main drag, eventually moving to larger quarters across the street. After I married Gary (owner of Trendy Times), we decided to move the business to Woodsville on the other side of the mountains in 2007. I’ve been doing this longer than many other consignment stores in this area. I like to say “I have never worked this hard for so little and enjoyed it this much.”

Where did the name Trendy Threads come from? Did your business name come first or was it your husband Gary’s business Trendy Times?
Mine came first. Originally, when I was in Barre under the name Cheap Kids II, it was just a children’s clothing store. Later, I decided to add some adult items as well. When I advertised only as Cheap Kids II, it was difficult to get adults to come in to shop for adult clothing so I started using the name Trendy Threads in my advertising as well. Then I sold Cheap Kids II and started using the name Trendy Threads exclusively. Gary named his paper Trendy Times later. I would now warn people against naming two businesses the same kind of name. We would never do that again although it’s cute that we’re known as the “Trendy Folks.” The similar names can confuse people. Gary gets some of my customers every week and I get some of his customers every week as well.

What do you like best about your business and what do you feel most proud of?
I really like the people and the fact that I am doing something that helps the community. I really feel like I am giving something to the community and filling a need. For example, between 1998 and 2018, I have paid consignors over $500,000 that has gone back into the community. For the almost eleven years that I have been in Woodsville, I have paid out around $175,000 that has gone back to the community. I can’t think of any other business that has put back that amount of expendable income into peoples’ pockets in the area. One of my biggest achievements was being awarded the Small Business Association’s Vermont Microenterprise award in 2007. It was quite an honor! I actually got the call letting me know that I had won the award just days before I opened the business in Woodsville.

How many consignors does your store have and where do they come from?
We have over 1500 consignors and about 1000 active consignors. By active consignors, I mean that they have had activity on their account in the last 12 months. Although most of my consignors come from within a 75-mile radius, I have consignors from as far away as Massachusetts and Maine. I even had a woman who moved to Alaska and continued to send me stuff. We also have several nonprofit groups that have their people bring things here to consign. For example, the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Although they receive all kinds of grants to provide services, they don’t get grants to pay for things like the telephone bill or to buy pens and paper. They use the money they earn on consignments to buy the things they don’t receive funding for. Other nonprofit groups that consign here include the Grafton County Mental Health Court, Grafton County Drug Court and Jazzy’s Children Fund. I also have a “donated” account where people donate clothes to benefit people in need. The consignor profits for these items are used to issue gift certificates for needy families in the community. For example, families who experienced a house fire. One of our mottoes is “People Who Care, Neighbors Who Share.”

Can you tell us a little more about what people can find in your store?
You will find quality used clothing for the entire family. We go from maternity to preemie to kids to juniors to ladies to men’s. Plus, we have many other things like nursing scrubs, jewelry, CD’s, movie DVDs, handbags, belts, shoes for the whole family ... and more! What amazes me is the amount of brand new items that come in, often with the original tags still on. I think maybe people receive things for gifts and never get around to returning them or exchanging them. We’ve also had expensive designer clothes come through and sometimes I have had a single item come back three or four times to be resold. I laugh because I’ve probably made more money on some of these items than the original manufacturer did. 
A New Venue for Annual Meeting!
This year, the Cohase Chamber held our Annual Meeting in the northern end of our region at Court Street Arts in historic Haverhill Corner, NH and it was fantastic! Over 90 guests were treated to a scrumptious buffet in the beautiful and historic Alumni Hall. The event featured a regional trivia quiz, a review of all of the Chamber's accomplishments in 2017 as well as other updates, announcements and official Chamber business.

The highlight of the evening, however, was the presentation of our Annual Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year awards. Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank received the Business of the Year award this year for their generous and ongoing support of and commitment to the regional community. Marvin Harrison of Newbury, Vermont received the Citizen of the Year Award for his limitless energy, drive, leadership and commitment to so many towns, organizations and businesses in our region.

To see an array of photos from the event, click here.
Gary Scruton, President of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce (and owner of Trendy Times) presents the Cohase Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award to Dan Stannard, Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer at Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank.
Marvin Harrison, recipient of the Citizen of the Year award posing with Dale Bromley, of Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty who presented the award. Marvin also serves as Treasurer of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce.
Member News
  • Liz Shelton and Erin Atkinson of An Affair To Remember: The Party Store and Everything But The Cook in Woodsville, NH recently returned from Texas and the Dallas Gift Show. They spent 6 days of shopping for new inventory for both stores and invite everyone to see the exciting new inventory of jewelry, gifts, kitchen items and more!
  • ARC Mechanical Contractors in Bradford, Vt will be hosting a FREE Informational Seminar on Cold Climate Heat Pumps on Wednesday, February 28 from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM at the Courtyard By Marriot at 10 Morgan Drive in Lebanon, NH. Register early for your coupon for up to $1000 off! There will be presentations by Effficiency Vermont and Mitsubishi as well as hor d’oeuvres, beer and wine. Event is free but please RSVP by clicking here or call (802) 222-9255 for more information.
  • Ariana’s Restaurant, formerly located in Orford, NH has completed their move to the Lyme Inn in Lyme, NH. The new location offers two dining rooms – the Front Room, reminiscent of their Orford location and the Back Room, a more pub-like dining experience. The restaurant also now offers a full bar. Chef Martin invites everyone to visit them at their beautiful and exciting new location!
  • Bank of New Hampshire along with the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated the opening of their newest Business Development office in Falmouth, Maine with a ribbon cutting ceremony. They are excited to expand their service area to new communities, businesses and customers in the Greater Portland area!
  • Blythedale Farm in Cookville, Vermont was recently named one of the Top Ten Artisan Cheesemakers of Vermont by the popular Spruce WEB site for their French-style soft cheeses. Check out the article by clicking here.
  • Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, NH is excited to announce their Diabetes Prevention Program which will start on April 5, 2018. This group-based lifestyle change program is a year-long commitment with 16 weekly sessions in the first sixth months followed by six to eight more sessions once a month. The sessions are facilitated by a trained lifestyle coach and will use curriculum developed by the Center for Diseases Control. For more information about the program, please email Marianne Aldrich at maldrich@cottagehospital.org or call her at (603) 747-9707. To take a simple quiz to assess your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, click here
  • Little Rivers Health Care in Bradford, Vermont began renovations on their Bradford clinic in early September. The project involves two phases with project completion scheduled for April, 2018. Some operations have been transitioned into a portion of the new space already and Phase 2 work has now started. The new clinic will be state of the art for energy efficiency and will add new clean and bright space while retaining the historic building and site appearance.
  • Newbury Veterinary Clinic would like to remind everyone that February is Pet Dental Health Month and they are offering 10% of all dentals!
  • WYKR in Wells River encourages country music fans to enter to win a get-away to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to see Kenny Chesney on his Trip Around the Sun Tour . To enter, visit their WEB site at WYKR.COM!
  • River Bend Career & Technical Center in Bradford, Vermont is hosting a 3-class workshop entitled Understanding Opiate Addiction. The workshop costs $30 and will be held on February 13th, 20th and 27th from 6-8 PM. Educators will receive Professional Development credit and childcare and dinner is provided. For more information, call 802-222-5212.
"Cohase Cash" Program Planned
The Chamber is planning to announce a new contest in the next few months tentatively titled "Cohase Cash" which will reward participants for frequenting local businesses and services. The program will ask participants to submit receipts (either electronically or via US Mail) from area businesses to be entered into a drawing for $100 in "Cohase Cash" to be spent at member businesses.

The program will require little, if any, effort on the part of our members and will not cost members anything to participate. We hope the program will encourage people to frequent local businesses and reward those who do. The program is not restricted solely to retail businesses and purchases made at any member business will qualify including the use of service businesses. If the program proves successful, we will expand the program beyond its initial trial period.

Although we are still finalizing the details of the contest, you can see a current draft of the proposed program by clicking here. Keep in mind that we may make further changes to the program beyond what is currently listed in the proposal.

We encourage your thoughts and feedback so please let us know what you think!