From manor to square

LEWISTOWN – Donna Snook opened Snowflake Manor to share the spirit of Christmas and help families to develop traditions in their homes. Now, 20 years later, the business has moved to Monument Square and changed its name – appropriately, to Snowflakes on the Square – but the goal remains the same.

Originally from Allensville, Snook held a government job for decades. About 10 years before she retired, she opened her store in the Dairyland complex so she would have a place to transfer her energy when the time came. She was there for 13 years before deciding to expand, at which point the store moved to its location on Electric Avenue. Since moving the shop to the square, Snook said much of her inventory is still boxed up at her Belltown home, waiting for the holiday season to come again.

Her inventory is 90 percent Christmas themed, from ornaments to villages, but 10 years ago, she picked up a line of children’s toys called Melissa and Doug.

“They’re creative toys,” Snook said. “Moms love them.”

Many of the toys are made of wood, well-constructed playthings reminiscent of a time when the word plastic couldn’t be found in a dictionary. Snook also carries Gund stuffed animals as well as reusable sticker books, travel games and dress-up costumes.

Other nooks of the business house candles, cookbooks, cookie cutters, year-round home decor and Dutch Pantry products.

She opened the new location on July 2 and plans to hold a week-long celebration in October in honor of the store’s 20th anniversary, which is officially Oct. 8. Children’s author Leanne Smith, who wrote “The Magic Christmas Key” and “My Snowman and Me,” will hold a book signing on Oct. 10. Smith, of Grove City, featured her dog, Rufus, in “The Magic Christmas Key.” While Rufus stuffed animals are available, Smith plans to bring the real Rufus to the signing with her.

The anniversary celebration will kick off Snowflakes’ 12 weeks of Christmas, during which Snook shares different Christmas traditions, such as building gingerbread houses, writing letters to Santa and giving to others.

“I strive for customer service and helping people build Christmas traditions,” Snook said. “It’s just about the joy of it.”

Snowflakes on the Square is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 3 W. Market St. in Lewistown. Beginning Sept. 1, the store also will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Snook can be reached at 437-6452.