Sutton, MA. Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton has created a rich visual holiday experience with a 1950’s style window display that entices customers to come in and to feel good about Christmas.

A glittering dining room table ornately set and ready for guests and Christmas trees covered with ornaments convey the feel of bygone department stores and their large glass windows. Decades ago, workers known as “window dressers” spent long hours carefully placing items in store fronts to attract customers with the visual delight and excitement of the holiday. Today, Vaillancourt Folk Art’s carefully constructed and expertly lit display conjures that same big city feel but it is nestled in the massive granite walls of the circa 1826 mill building in the village of Manchaug

“We want people to feel good about this holiday,” company president Gary Vaillancourt said, “and we wanted to create the feeling that you would get when you walked past one of those stores. No matter what your circumstance, the windows drew you in and made you part of the promise of Christmas. We know everyone is worried about the economy today, but at the same time we need to hold on to our traditions, too.”

Vaillancourt Folk Art specializes in highly stylized chalkware figures that are cast on site in their studio. Confectionary and chocolate molds are used to produce figures depicting Old World Santas while modern molds tend to capture whimsical concepts like Santa driving a car instead of a sleigh. Designs are then carefully hand painted onto each piece. Over the years they have become highly desirable among collectors.

The retail and studio space at Manchaug Mills also includes a museum that chronicles the company from its early days 25 years ago to the present. For those interested in the history of Santa Claus, designer Judi Vaillancourt has assembled the different figures from European nations – Germany, Italy, Poland and others – so visitors can see how Father Christmas has evolved over the years to become the modern day American figure most familiar to millions of children.

“We have taken great care to make sure our customers come in to our store and studio and experience Christmas,” Vaillancourt said. “We are proud to be a Massachusetts manufacturer and to offer our customers decorative holiday items that are made in America. We are here to help them start their own traditions and to experience Christmas the way it used to be.”