Waldo 7/3/12

Where’s Waldo? Hiding in Telluride’s shops.

A Waldo figurine perches on the ladder in Between the Covers. The bookstore facilitated a shop-local campaign in town that will have people searching for Waldo in participating shops. [Photo by Katie Klingsporn]

Shop-local campaign kicks off Sunday in 20 participating stores

By Katie Klingsporn
Published: Sunday, July 1, 2012 12:00 AM CDT
Where’s Waldo? Starting on Sunday, the wordless and bespectacled children’s book hero with the striped shirt, walking stick and friendly smile will be hiding among the shelves, display cases and wares of 20 Telluride shops.

It’s all part of the Find Waldo Local, an event that’s part celebration of the 25th anniversary of Waldo books and part campaign to encourage people to shop locally by offering a fun game in downtown stores.

The national campaign, created by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association, has selected Telluride as one of its 250 participating communities, and Between the Covers, Telluride’s independent bookstore, is spearheading the local effort. 

The two-week Waldo hunt kicks off Sunday in Telluride, and works like this: Participants (it’s open to kids and adults) are tasked with finding Waldo (well, six-inch figurines of him) hidden in the 20 participating stores.

Waldo hunters who locate figurines will get a card from the participating business. Those who collect eight cards can get a Waldo pin, and those who gather 16 will be entered into a final prize drawing. The drawing will take place during a celebration on July 20 at Between the Covers, with the winner taking home the box set of the original six Waldo hardcover books, a Waldo poster book, postcard book and more.

Waldos will be hidden everywhere from Cashmere Red to LuxWest, Gravity Works, Telluride Truffles, Picaya and Aromatherapy Day Spa. Participating businesses will be marked with a Waldo sticker in their window; a full list of businesses is available at Between the Covers.

Between the Covers co-owner Daiva Chesonis said that when she heard about the campaign through Candlewick, which she buys books from, she thought it seemed like a fun idea for the town. Between the Covers applied for a spot and Telluride was selected as one of the participating communities.

The bookstore then had to get 19 other businesses to sign up; that proved to be an easy task. Thirty-six hours after sending out an email, all the spots were filled, Chesonis said.

“The response blew me away,” she said.

Jen Hayes, owner of Sweet Life, jumped aboard right away. She said she’s for anything that lures people into shops they may not normally frequent.

“I just think it’s really fun when the businesses do something collaboratively,” she said. “It’s a really fun thing that encourages people to go into businesses that maybe they wouldn’t necessarily have gone into … Even if it wasn’t a kids-focused thing, I would be into it.”

Needle Rock Fiber Arts is another participant.

“We like to be part of every fun activity that’s going on in town,” said shop owner Ginger Snip. “I think it’s a cute idea to get people wandering around.”

Chesonis and Between the Covers co-owner Bobbi T. Smith said they hope it encourages locals to re-explore their local businesses, but added that it’s open to visitors too.

They said collaboration is key to a thriving business community and goes hand in hand with getting people to shop locally.

“See it here, buy it here, keep it here,” Chesonis said, summing up their motto.