The darling of Main Street, The Winters Collective, recently added two new businesses to its bustling ensemble. Pucker & Pop Balloon Creations and The Avid Reader are all moved in and excited to serve the town that supports local like no other.
If The Avid Reader sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a local bookstore with its roots in Davis. Although the store is new to the town, co-owners, Erin and Brett Arnold — who also happen to be husband and wife — fell in love with Winters long ago.
“We love the town. We drive to Winters all the time for the food and events, and it made sense for us to expand over there,” Erin Arnold said explaining her and her husband’s affection for the little town. “When the opportunity came to move into a pop up like the Collective, we said ‘yes!’ We got it sorted out before the holidays and it’s been a way for us to expand and offer books to people.”
Taking over ownership in February 2020, the Arnolds’ ambition is to bring more literary spaces to the Yolo/Solano areas. With the Winters Collective, they were able to do just that. Although it’s a modified space, The Avid Reader carries a carefully curated variety of books to satisfy lovers of any genre.
“We’re hoping for now to create a space for people to access new books and use an independent, local source rather than places that don’t put effort or money back into the community,” Erin said talking about the pop-up version of the bookstore. “We’re hoping to have it be a pickup location for people who order from us online. From what I can tell, Winters cares about local businesses. And it feels like a natural connection between us with a family-owned business.”
For information about ordering and to see what The Avid Reader has available, visit avidreaderbooks.com.
Moving in alongside the Arnolds is Lynn Laukkanen and her business Pucker & Pop Balloon Creations.
“I do balloon creations for parties and events. So balloon arches, garlands, table pieces for people at home and for commercial accounts too,” Laukkanen said talking about her experience at the Collective. “I started working here doing it on the side, then Meika asked if I’d be interested in doing a party supply section in the Collective. I thought it was a great opportunity so then came Pucker & Pop Balloon Creations. And it’s also a party supply store.”
Though Laukkanen is an accomplished balloon artist, she doesn’t let it inflate her ego. In fact, one of her favorite aspects of the job is working closely with clients when making her unique creations.
“People love balloons, but the most fun is how excited they get coming in and custom tailoring the balloons to the event they’re doing,” said Laukkanen. “I’ve done one focused on dinosaurs for a little boy, another one for a young lady who was a softball fanatic. It’s fun seeing the parents get excited that they created something special for their kids. It’s a very personalized experience.”
At the end of the day, Laukkanen’s mission is to bring joy and happiness to peoples’ lives. With balloons being near-universally loved, Laukkanen will surely succeed in that mission. For more information on ordering — and to see the Pucker & Pop body of work – one can direct message Laukkanen on Instagram by searching @puckerandpop.
With books and balloons abound, the Winters Collective will continue to be a hub of local awesomeness for the town to enjoy.