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With the onslaught of rain and rabid holiday shoppers stepping all over your feet in the scramble for humdrum mass-produced goods at the department store, it's easy to feel blue. But before you start running for cover or retreating into rebellious hibernation, pop over to Candystore on Valencia at 16th. The distinctive delights, nostalgic treasures and cheery atmosphere are guaranteed to whisk your winter woes away.
Candystore sweetens things up for shoppers, designers and artists. Storeowner Jennifer Jones and business partner Jenny Klowden offer not only a dazzling assortment of items from a diverse range of time periods and styles including house wares, crafts, toys, clothing and accessories for men, women and babies but also a nurturing and collaborative environment for artists. They rent four private studios at the rear of the store for artists to use, and the shop floor serves as a showroom for them to test new designs. -- Jialin Luh