The White Sleigh celebrates 25 years of business

Despite Halloween being just around the corner and lasting for just one day, it's Christmas all year round at the White Sleigh.

In 1983, Suzanne Pittard opened the little shop in quaint Skaneateles when there were only a few sparse shops around town. The business was tucked away in the corner of The Bookie back then, and at the time she made more than 50 percent of the product and the rest was made by companies within New York state.

Since then, the business has grown and moved a couple of times to land in its final destination at 1 W. Genesee St. in 1988.

After graduating from college with a degree in business management, Pittard worked for a large corporation, but her heart wasn't in it and she came home to Skaneateles, eventually making the decision to open a Christmas shop. That was 25 years ago.

"When I opened (the store) I didn't really have any knowledge of retail," she said. "I've learned a lot."

Her love of retail has grown with her knowledge and a few years ago, Pittard opened a second shop, Etc., on East Genesee Street.

Pittard said she's "excited about being 25" and will be holding an open house at the shop on Nov. 1 and 2 with promotions and giveaways for customers. Items to be given include a Buyers' Choice caroler, a Department 56 house and a $50 gift certificate. There will also be discounts available by picking from a bowl and seeing what the prize is.

For the kids, Pittard is planning a special drawing for Webkinz items -- from accessories to actual Webkinz animals.

Specializing in collectibles, Pittard began selling ceramic ornaments specific to Skaneateles and has been doing so for 14 years.

"We send the proceeds to Roswell Cancer Park in Buffalo," she said.

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