Cave Creek retailers tackle slow sales by creating Thieves Market shopping event

July 1, 2009

CAVE CREEK – When the going gets tough, the women business owners of Cave Creek get going.

Thieves Market, a monthly outdoor shopping event held throughout downtown Cave Creek and returning on Saturday, July 4 from 6 a.m. – 1 p.m., has succeeded by bringing thousands of shoppers to the town.

The event was designed to benefit retailers, art galleries and other small businesses feeling the effects of the slowing economy. Thieves Market was designed to counter that decline and position Cave Creek as a shopping destination.

Although town councils, chambers of commerce and merchant groups are an important part of driving business to local merchants, the Thieves Market team wanted to avoid the bureaucracy and “decision-making by committee” that often holds up or dilutes efforts to produce a successful grass roots event.

Held outdoors with sidewalk sales and a fair-like atmosphere, Thieves Market also hosts a flea market with more than fifty vendors west of Antique Emporium and south of Blue Coyote Gallery.

Bart Krasson of Indian Village, humorously reports he “had to throw customers out,” because the crowds he served were so large on the days of the event.

Shelly Ortiz of Out West Decor and Lynda Orscanin of Cosmopolitan Beads have been participating since the event’s inception in May and are pleased with their sales results.

Ortiz says, “We were able to reach new customers who had not yet stopped in our store and we sold thousands of dollars worth of furniture at Thieves Market.”

Orscanin enthusiastically endorses the event. Originally displaying in front of her store and then at the flea market, Orscanin says the store made sales they would not have made, had they not been involved in Thieves Market.

Each month as the event grows, more merchants come aboard. Businesses, schools, non-profits and civic groups are encouraged to participating in or piggy-backing on Thieves Market. For more information on how to become involved, call 602-882-1442 or visit

Treating insect bites – Part 2

Prevention is worth more than the cure

Summertime comes with many joys, especially the fun activities and food we look forward to. One thing many people are less than enthusiastic about are the hordes of insects out in force – mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, ants, bees, wasps, and flies.

One thing we can avoid are the chemical topical ointments with their associated problems such as DEET exposure, environmental pollution, and the toxins we will slather on our bodies, causing possible birth defects and liver toxicity in wildlife, pets, and humans.
These herbal recipe ingredients can be combined to create personalized insect repellents. Some can be used to treat pets.

First make a base product

Use a combination of oils in an oil tincture or vinegar tincture with a very strong concentration, usually a 1 to 2 ratio (one part herbs to two parts vinegar or alcohol). Add this blend, as needed, to lotions or a spray bottle filled with distilled water or a water-vinegar mix (in ratio of 1 to 1) when ready to use.

The lotion, distilled water, and alcohol mixtures can be applied to or sprayed generously on the skin avoiding the mouth, nose, and eyes. Avoid children's hands, too, as they may wipe their eyes with their hands.

The water-vinegar mixture can be used to spray around the ankles of socks, pants, and shoes, or around the home (carpeting, curtains, furniture) and on window screens to deter pests. (Check for staining and color steadfastness of the material.)

These basic herbs may be used separately or in combination to make powerful insect repellents and insecticides which are safe for use around the home, children, pets and environment. They harmlessly break down into biodegradable organic compounds.

Many of these herbs can be found in your backyard, garden or spice cupboard. Rub fresh leaves or dried leaves, soaked in water, on the skin, for a quick repellent in emergencies. (Never apply pure essential oils to the skin or take internally in any way.)

The following herbs can be found in fresh, dried, essential oil, and tincture forms in health food stores.

Yarrow: repels mosquitoes, acts as an insecticide, anti-allergenic, and anti-inflammatory agent.

Eucalyptus: a general insecticide and repellent.

Clove: an insecticide, fungicide, anti-bacterial, parasiti-cide, and repellent.
Neem Oil or cream: is a repellent, insecticide, pesticide, antibacterial, antihistamine, parasiticide, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fever, anthel-mintic, antiseptic, larvacide and fungicide.

Basil: draws out poison from the skin. It's an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, and antibacterial.

Lemon Balm: (Not to be confused with lemons or bee balm). Insect repellent highly effective against mosquitoes; can be used topically or internally and is claimed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Echinacea: can relieve itching associated with hives, soothing to bites and stings. It assists in disinfecting the wound site and can be applied to stings to numb the pain as a tincture, compress, poultice, or infusion.

Lavender Oil: world renown for its ability to calm irritated skin and people, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It can be made into a tincture, essential oil tincture, infusion, poultice, compress, or tea.

Mint: often used by campers to repel mosquitoes. Extracts from mint leaves seem to have a mosquito-killing capability. Mint oil is used as an environmentally-friendly insecticide for its ability to kill some common pests like wasps, hornets, ants and cockroaches. A common use is as an antipruritic, especially in insect bite treatments (often along with camphor).

CatNip Oil: a repellent against insects, in particular mosquitoes, cockroaches and termites. Research suggests it repels mosquitoes ten times more effectively than DEET, the active ingredient in most insect repellents. It is best used as a spray application on clothing and around the house rather than applied to the skin. A little oil can be added to a pet's bath to further repel insects.