Local Craft Fair Brings the Community Together

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LYNDONVILLE-The Northeast Kingdom Craft Fair will start on Saturday, November 25th in the Lyndon State College Rite Bole Gym. More than 50 craft vendors will join the fair and sell their handmade crafts. The event is free for the public.

This is the fifth year of the craft fair. Sue Grant and her husband are in charge of organize and contacting the vendors. Talking about why she wanted to set up a craft fair, Grant said: “I think people love crafts. They are handmade and unique. I’d love to see people buy handmade and good quality stuff from Vermont, and you cannot buy these things in Walmart.” Due to this reason, the Grants began paying more attention to collecting information of local crafts businesses. Sue went to different craft shows to talk with people and gave her business cards to them. Also, she would do a lot of research to get information online as well. Five years’ experience let Sue accumulate more connections with the local businesses. She says, “This year, the applications of vendors are over 60, but our space is not enough. We have to refuse around 10 vendors who applied late to fit the site, which is sad.”

Sanderson’s Wooden Bowls is one of the refused vendors. The owner, Weeza Sanderson, said they were told the fair did not have room for them. “Last year, we went to a craft show, and I think this kind of fair do can help our business. This is a good way to do advertisement,” said Sanderson.

Besides finding potential local businesses personally, Sue and her husband set up their Facebook page, website, commercial board, and cooperated with local radio stations to let wider residents know what are they doing. This fair is not just a “buy and sell” activity. It also offers a chance for communities to help other countries’ people out. They will have a concession stand to sell snacks and food. The money from here will be donated to Guatemala to help children whose orphanage burned down.

What else made Northeast Kingdom Craft Fair unique that compares with other craft shows? Sue Grant paused a little bit, then said, “This is a good question. This point is also important for me. I think we are a friendly craft fair. I went to several other fairs and felt some of them were kind of rude. It is very important to me that we are warm and welcoming people.” She said each year, she would tell every vendor to be kind to visitors, and she would go around and ask the visitors who do they think is the warmest vendor. The nominated vendors can get small presents from her.

After Thanksgiving, earlier than Christmas. The craft fair will open to welcome residents and visitors to let them pick up their satisfied gifts for future holidays.