Shop gears up for holidays

first_img• Photo Gallery: Tiskit A Taskit While most families are recovering from Thanksgiving and just beginning to think about the holiday season, Christmas is in full swing at Tiskit A Taskit, a gift basket and novelty store at 13100 Philadelphia St. in Uptown Whittier. Christmas music is wafting through the store, and the smell of cinnamon is hanging in the air. Red and green baskets of Christmas candy, wine and other gourmet foods fill the tiny shop. Owner Alma Aguirre said the season is hectic, but necessary for the business. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“It’s labor-intensive, because everything is by hand,” Aguirre, 38, said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun, too.” Aguirre said the shop begins preparation for the holiday season in July, when they order materials. Business slows to a crawl in the summer, and Tiskit A Taskit does about 75 percent of its business between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Aguirre has owned the shop for three years, leaving teaching to buy the store. “I used to shop here,” Aguirre said. “I called to see if the old owner was interested in some seasonal help.” That owner wasn’t looking at the time, but kept Aguirre in mind when she decided to sell the business and retire. Tiskit A Taskit provides supplemental income to Aguirre’s husband’s career in management for Nestle. For Aguirre, her employee Debra Valdez, and the seasonal workers who help during the holidays, being one of Santa’s helpers is rewarding. Valdez, 53, said she left her job as a bookkeeper to work at the shop four years ago. “I wanted to do something creative and something different, away from the corporate world,” Valdez said. Aguirre said she and the employees make 700 to 800 packages during the holiday season, ranging from large gift baskets to smaller items, wrapped and ready to go under the Christmas tree. This week, the team is working an order for 73 gourmet food and wine baskets, placed by a pet food company, to be shipped in the next few weeks. Baskets for display in the store, for a local company to give to employees, and custom baskets requested by shoppers are also in the works. Baskets usually cost $50 to $60. “But we custom make baskets, too, so if people are on a budget and they request something, we’ll do that for them,” Aguirre said. Customer Sherry Draxler said she lives in La Habra, but came to visit the store at her daughter’s recommendation. “They have beautiful things, nice gift items,” Draxler said. “I’m sure I couldn’t put together these baskets.” Aguirre said she is hoping for a big holiday shopping season, not just for her store, but for other shops in the Uptown area. Valdez agreed. “I love Uptown,” Valdez said. “I want it to thrive.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more