Peddling ‘happiness’: Craft show fun for buyers and sellers

People may have come for all different reasons but most of those attending and peddling their wares at the Wapakoneta Craft Show on Saturday left happy.
For a St. Marys woman, craft shows have allowed her family to maintain their level of living and stay in their home after her husband lost his job a year ago.
A mother of four, Stacey Stephens, has perfected the art of not just diaper cakes, but diaper creations including diaper four- wheelers.
“My sister was having a baby last year and I made a huge one for her and everyone loved it,” Stephens said. “I started making them and selling them and it exploded from there.”
Getting the routine down, Stephens said she can whip one up in 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how extensive it is. She’s even got her husband rolling all the diapers that she uses to put them together.
From April to September she sells her creations at a flea market and then she does craft shows until January when she rebuilds her stock.
Of course she also still sells candles and scents which is how she started her business, Sweet and Sassy Scents, several years ago.
“This has been a really good business,” Stephens said. “It’s helped us stay afloat.”
Ann Hulsmeyer decided to bring her granddaughter, Montana Hulsmeyer, to the show after seeing it advertised.
“I love craft shows,” said Hulsmeyer, who shared she was excited about sharing her first one with her granddaughter.
“I like searching for gifts here,” the Botkins woman said. “You can always find something unique.”
Lee McMinn, of Lima, headed south to Wapakoneta because her sister was selling glass blocks and glitter ornaments. It was her first time at the show but a crafter herself she was excited to pick others’ brains for ideas.
“I think there are some good ones,” McMinn said.
Kathleen Kentner has been sewing her whole life, but she decided to try selling her handmade purses for the first time at the craft show on Saturday.
“I made some for Christmas presents last year and was getting so many requests my daughter suggested I try this,” Kentner said.
With her unique quilted purses and a special smaller “snap happy” edition, Kentner said it’s something she really enjoys.
Business on Saturday proved to be good at her booth and she already planned to be back next year.
Susan Cole and her daughter, Betsy Kitta, have a standing date to attend the craft show together each year.
“We always come, we may not always buy much, but we love to look,” Cole said. “We always do it together.”
Cole never leaves without the Amish noodles, sugar cookies, or anything else at their booth.
Kitta this year was trying on a variety of bracelets and getting her mother’s opinion and also looking for fall decorations.
“There’s quite a variety,” Cole said.
Jodi Wuebker, of St. Henry, heard about the show through a friend and brought her mother and sister over for a girls day out. The newlywed was hoping to find some things for her house.
“Everything’s really neat,” Wuebker said of items for sale at the booths.
Ann Wagner, of Wapakoneta, starting making jewelry with her daughter, Joy Fispaw, several years ago when she was in the hospital and they were trying to find a way to keep her distracted. It’s become quite a business as the women sell their beaded creations at several craft shows.
Her other daughters, Joan Weaver and June Litmer, tease her that they cannot even eat at the dining room table anymore because the collection has grown so large.
At 86, Wagner’s even expanding her products to include beautiful handbeaded rosaries, which she plans on becoming her focus. She gave her first ones to all of her children and grandchildren, but was selling them Saturday at the Wapakoneta Craft Show organized by the Wapakoneta Noon Optimists.
The event is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year with the proceeds used for scholarships presented to Wapakoneta High School seniors.
“It’s going wonderful,” Bonnie WurstSaturday afternoon as the eighth annual craft show held at Wapakoneta High School drew to a close. “It’s the crowd we hoped for and the majority are all carrying something out.
“We want to thank the vendors and thank the customers,” said Wurst, who helped organize the event. “We’ve had a great turnout both ways.”