By Jason O'Boyd, Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012 —
Saturday’s first Arts & Crafts Fair at the Stanly County Senior Center sounds like just the beginning of something big.
“We’ve already picked out our time for next year,” said Linda Lowder, one of two coordinators for this Saturday’s event, which will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We are positively anticipating a great event Saturday,” said Becky Weemhoff, director of the Stanly County Senior Center.
The event will allow local crafters the chance to have their own booth to sell the items they make, everything from home decor items, jewelry, ceramics and needle work to baked goods and other items. Doughnuts and coffee will be for sale in the morning and hot dogs, chips and drinks will be on sale for lunch.
“I told (Lowder) Stanfield has their big one but they pull from the Charlotte crowd,” said Gail Burris, the other coordinator for Saturday’s event.
“You have a lot of small people that don’t do it in high volume but would like a place to show their wares. I said there’s just not any place and asked if they would like to do it down here.”
So around August, Lowder came to Weemhoff about putting on such an event and it went from there. Stalls were put up for sale for $30 for interested vendors. Flyers were available at the Senior Center for people to sign up, too. Lowder even went to the Farmer’s Market to gauge interest from vendors who sold items there.
Before long, there were 32 vendors who signed up for Saturday’s event. Lowder said there were several others who inquired about the event but were too late to be added to the mix, a good sign this will be a traditional event.
“The money we raise usually goes toward Meals on Wheels and the aids that help in the house,” Lowder said.
“That’s very important to us. I tried to spread the word that this is something we might be doing. I received so much feedback that people were just so interested in having something locally.”
The one-day event has a lot in common with the Christmas Shoppe that was held last week at Hospice of Stanly County, but with one twist.
“Hospice uses their own volunteers and they make certain items,” Weemoff said.
“Ours, we are selling spaces for various crafters to come in and display and sell their items.
“You can do this but you’ve got to have the space for it, and we have the building.”
Burris, one of the owners of Rosebrier in Albemarle, sells hand-made bears in her shop that are quite popular. It’s items like that which will be on display and are certain to draw a lot of attention from curious shoppers interested in all the items that will be on sale.
“I was telling someone out front a while ago, I wasn't sure when we first started … I was like ‘Oh if they don’t get any vendors I’m going to be in trouble,” Burris said with a laugh.
“They are gonna shoot me. But now we could probably put them in the parking lot.
“I really think it could be very beneficial for the area, not only for the senior center and the seniors here, but for the small people that would just like a place to have a place to show their wares and not be so expensive they could not afford to do it.”