MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Hand-painted holiday signs, quilts, needlepoint creations and homemade jewelry are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking of a community’s holiday celebration. With hardly any technology or budget, people are able to create warm, homey products that can bring families together for the holiday season.
These various colorful sights and sounds greeted the senses of anyone who ventured into the Paradise Point Officers’ Club during the biannual holiday craft fair hosted by the Hidden Talents craft store, Nov. 20 and 21.
“We hold this craft fair each weekend before Easter and Thanksgiving,” said Amanda Kendrick, financial manager for Hidden Talents and the event’s coordinator. “It’s one of the most favorite ways for the local vendors to get out and for the customers to shop around.”
Spanning into nearly every room of the Officers’ Club, the craft fair totaled approximately 80 vendors with 120 display tables, showing off everything from unique hand-crafted jewelry to innovative statuettes.
“I’ve been coming out to the craft fair for six years now to make jewelry,” said Karen Holliday, creator of KMH Designs. “A lot of vendors do well enough at this fair to keep coming back each year, which is important because fairs like these support our local artisans.”
That is half of the benefit in this biannual event; local people support local businesses and keep the revenue inside the community.
“Many of the vendors here are military spouses, and their individual sources of income are their creations,” said Lynn Walzer, military spouse and shopper at the fair. “The materials are bought and used locally, so it is a great help to keep the whole business within the community.”
The other benefit of the craft fair is that the money vendors pay for a space in the Officers’ Club goes to programs and scholarships.
“The Officers’ Wives’ Club has a scholarship that is for military dependents,” said Kendrick. “Proceeds from the craft fair go toward that scholarship, which will also go right back into the community.”
With the second and last craft fair for the year drawn to a close, vendors are re-stocking their supply with homemade gifts and goodies, preparing for next year’s exposé on the weekend before the Easter holiday.
For more information about the craft fair or the Hidden Talents store, visit the website camplejeuneowc.org or call 451-2658.