COLUMBIA, SC — About 2,000 people turned out for Columbia’s fifth Crafty Feast at the Columbia Metropolitan and Convention Center on Saturday, organizers said.
Shoppers, craft enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers poured into the center’s exhibit hall looking for that one-of-a-kind find or item calling their name.
Bonnie Kelly found hers at Jenny Mae Creations – a table adorned with voodoo dolls, stuffed sock monkeys and what their maker, Jenny Hill, calls “sock oddities.”
It was the Columbia resident’s first time at the independent craft fair, and Kelly, who first spotted Hill’s dolls in the 2007 movie “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” has been a fan of the quirky creations since.
“Her stuff is fun and edgy but not too edgy,” she said. “It goes right up to the line without going over.”
Finding that one thing that gives you a little thrill is, in fact, what Crafty Feast founder, Debi Schadel says the show is all about.
“Oh yeah, it’s kind of like everyone wants to show everyone else what they found,” she said.
Schadel, who came up with the idea for the juried fair of mostly homemade or handcrafted items about four years ago, seems to have tapped into a niche in Columbia.
While the event has grown in size since the first Crafty Feast held in the Eau Claire community, the show has begun attracting those outside of the Columbia market. And yet, it seems to have held on to its comfortable, homegrown feel.
That’s exactly what Schadel says she was going for Saturday, down to the smooth-flowing IKEA-style floor setup, as she jokingly called it, to the curtainless booths.
“It keeps it open,” she said. “A lot of people have told us they really like the open feel of it.”
That’s important to Schadel, who now works with her event and communications firm, partner Tracie Broom, to produce the event. In addition to being an attractive event for shoppers, the two want the fair to be a must-attend event for crafters and artisans. And it seems to be working. Saturday’s Crafty Feast brought in vendors from Charlotte, Charleston and Atlanta as well as the Midlands.
“It’s important to me that vendors have a good experience,” she said. “I want them to think Columbia is a cool place to come.”
Reach Lucas at (803) 771-8657.