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3:46 AM Tue, Sept. 25th

THE OFFSTREET FESTIVAL: Bottle holder creators turn hobby into business

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier<br>
Tom and Teresa Hamilton, and a number of their character bottle holders, took part in the annual Prescott Offstreet Festival, featuring retail vendors, art and food. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce puts on the event.

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier<br> Tom and Teresa Hamilton, and a number of their character bottle holders, took part in the annual Prescott Offstreet Festival, featuring retail vendors, art and food. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce puts on the event.

PRESCOTT - Thousands of art lovers poured into downtown Prescott over the three-day weekend.

Many came for the Phippen Museum Annual Western Art Show & Sale surrounding the courthouse plaza, but found more than that across the street, near the corner of Montezuma and Goodwin. There, shoppers found a small tent city filled with wares and snacks. The vendors were part of Prescott's Offstreet Festival, offered through the Chamber of Commerce - and featured a smorgasbord of food, retail merchandise and more fine art.

Teresa and Tom Hamilton, out of Phoenix, operate Teresa's Creative Gifts, which specializes in character wine bottle holders, wine cork cages and other creations.

"We both had full-time jobs and did this as a hobby. We started out making rhinestone t-shirts years ago and had 400 styles. Mostly what sold were wine-related styles. We had friends that made these character holders and we got involved in making them as well," she said.

Shortly thereafter, the two began to sell their product at various events. Now, they produce 13 new styles monthly and see robust online sales thanks to their popular Facebook page.

"There are 130 style now. They can be used for more than wine bottles too. It doesn't have to be a wine bottle. Customers also tell us what they want. They've asked us if we could come out with hockey players, school teachers, so we will change it to what the public wants," Teresa Hamilton said.

A former Prescott resident, Hamilton regularly sells her creations in Prescott.

"We come up here about four or five times a year. We have a huge customer base up here and we absolutely love Prescott. We plan to retire here," Hamilton said. "The Offstreet Festival has a lot of buy-and-sell operations. It isn't all fine art."

The Hamiltons work on the design, marketing and concepts for their creations, but leave the metal work to a group of five co-creators. They started the business approximately eight years ago, according to Tom Hamilton.

"We have five guys that do all the welding, the cutting and all the heavy work. Our input is design and the finishing touches," he said.

The two will return to Prescott on June 8 to take part in the Territorial Days event at courthouse plaza. They also plan to sell their creations over Prescott's Fourth of July celebration downtown.