Have you ever wanted to share a wand with your favourite Harry Potter character?
Or maybe you’re on the market for a Sorting Hat, or a pair of steampunk goggles?
If any of that appeals to you, you might be interested in paying a visit to the newest pop-up store at the West Park Mall in West Quesnel.
Full of magical artifacts, Hogwarts robes, ties and scarves, and even the odd Game of Thrones paraphernalia, Wizards, Wands and More will be open until the end of December.
Sharon Winter, a self-described “Potterhead,” owns and runs the shop.
“I love the whole mystique and mystery and wonder and magic of Harry Potter, and that whole fantasy world,” says Winter. “We all need fantasy in our life. It helps keep us balanced.”
Winter has been selling Harry Potter-themed items, along with items like masks and pocket watches, at markets around B.C. for years.
Last July, Winter and her family went to Orlando, Florida, where she took her grandkids to Harry Potter World. “We spent the entire day, 13 straight hours, there … I think I’m still on a bit of a high over that. So that was amazing. I got to ride the Hogwarts Express, I was in Hogwarts castle, I was riding a broom – a virtual broom, but pretty exciting stuff.”
She adds that getting to be there with her eight- and 13-year-old grandchildren was the best part.
While her love of Harry Potter certainly comes across, only part of her pop-up shop’s space is dedicated to the store. The rest is left for a charity coffee stand.
Winter sells hot drinks, like coffee and hot chocolate, as well as some baked goods. Each week, all of the profits made from the coffee stand go to a different charity.
So far, Winter has supported the United Church, the Knights of Columbus, the SPCA and the Quesnel Ambassador program. Winter supports a new charity each week, and says she invites any charity who would like to participate to let her know.
Winter knew she wanted to do something for charity, and also noticed the lack of a place to buy coffee in the mall over the last few months. So she decided to combine the two ideas and create the coffee stand with her pop-up shop.
After years of practice setting up booths at markets, it only took about six hours or less to get the shop set up nicely, but Winter says it took about 10 days to get the coffee stand up and running.
“I just put it out there. Every person we bumped into or talked to I said: ‘This is what we need. We need a mini fridge, we need some kind of a counter, we need a microwave, we need a cash register’ — you know, we didn’t have anything. So everything just kind of came together.” Some of it, like the bar, Winter bought from a secondhand/rebuild it store, while other items came from complete strangers.
And so far, Winter says, the stand has been well supported. “People like the idea. They like the idea of being able to get a takeout coffee here.” And for anyone who would like to sit and sip their coffee, there’s a small table set up just outside the shop.