ST. MARYS — The South Street parking lot was packed with close to 20 vendors for Saturday’s SummerFest Craft Show.
The craft show began at 9 a.m. and ran through 5 p.m. Stands featured birdhouses, paintings, tutus, Pampered Chef products, jams and a variety of other items.
The show — new to the lineup this year — gave residents from St. Marys and the surrounding area an opportunity to market their handcrafted products while also mingling with festival attendees.
Renee Roettger, a Kettlersville resident, lined her tables with jewelry, which she and her mother handcraft. Her business, Aspiring Designs, features more than 500 pieces of jewelry ranging from necklaces to rosaries — custom jewelry can also be made for weddings, proms and other occasions. Aspiring Designs combines both the taste of Roettger and her mother and emphasized why purchasing items from local residents has many advantages.
“I have a full service business,” Roettger said, “I’m local so I guarantee all my work, and I can also fix others’ work.”
A few stands away from Roettger, Susan Little sold many hours of her hard work at her first craft show.
Little’s stand was full of handmade blankets, rice heating pads, do-rags, purses and seat belt covers. Her blankets displayed an assortment of colors and patterns.
“I like the brighter colors more because it’s more fun to work with,” Little said.
For 45 years, Little has been devoting hours a day to her hobby.
“If I work for three hours a day, it takes me about six weeks to make a blanket,” Little told The Evening Leader. “It’s a stress reliever, and it’s also something that allows me to see where my time goes.”
Sidney resident Peggy Wilson also displayed her hard work and creativity. Peggy’s Purses and Accessories usually sits at the farmer’s market in Sidney every Saturday, but Wilson came to St. Marys to see new faces and spread her market. Taught by her 97-year-old aunt who still sews herself, Wilson has been making purses for two years. She expanded her business to accessories like bracelets and other jewelry this spring in order to fill all of her reserved space at the farmer’s market, but purses are still her strong suit.
“I love finding the material and making something pretty out of it,” Wilson said. “I’m the original bag lady, so you will never see another purse like the ones I make.”
Wilson said she understood financial times are rough for many residents around the area. She was both aware and careful of the economic situation when she priced her items.
“I try to stay in the low price range,” Wilson said. “People like to treat themselves sometimes, and they are able to. My purses are all $25 and lower.”
Selling items was the focus of the vendors at the craft show but just as important was the fellowship and sense of community among all who attended.
“You have to be a people person to do this,” Little said. “I like to be here and see the people.”