Craft show returns for the first time in a year

Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 11:07 PM EDT
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Craft Show is back!

More than 365 days after the pandemic shut all craft shows down in Vermont, artisans have reunited at the first event since last March. About 45 artists set up shop inside the University Mall in South Burlington to showcase and sell their work in-person for the first time in more than a year.

“It just feels good to be part of a community again,” said Mary Lorrain of Made With Love.

“When you’re in the crafting community, you feel like it’s a family and we’ve all been really missing each other,” said Lauren Skellie, a co-host of the event.

Artists say the past year has been tough, especially financially. Many of them lost about half of the revenue they made in pre-pandemic years.

“So, it’s been one whole year of nothing,” Skellie said.

Brad Reynolds of B&C Pottery and Glass says they give 100% of their sales to the Malayaka House, an orphanage in Uganda. Before the pandemic hit, they raised roughly $2,000 for the charity each year. This year, they donated about $1,000. Reynolds says they resorted to selling their merchandise at home to keep the donations afloat.

“A fair number of people actually made contributions,” he said. “So when they’re buying from us and they find out what it’s for, a lot of times people would just make additional contributions.”

Mary Lorrain, who creates wreaths in honor of her late sister Kathy, said she found success selling items on Facebook Marketplace.

“I sold most all of my Christmas wreaths. I probably sold about 60 and that was all through Facebook,” Lorrain said.

Skellie says her mom, the owner of Creations by Cole, also utilized social media.

“She really pushed Facebook. She really pushed advertising, putting up posts constantly,” Skellie said. “But it’s hard. It’s hard when you go from something that you are doing almost every weekend to nothing. There’s nothing, other than online.”

As the vaccine rollout continues and the economy slowly opens back up, artists are hopeful this year will be a success for them.

“The people here are — a lot of them are well experienced in craft shows. They’ve been away for a long time and they’re all happy to be back,” said Scott Ross, a local woodworker.

The event also featured food from C & M Concessions, a Franklin, Vermont-based food truck.

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