By LeRae Haynes –

A community event celebrating local artisans is coming to Williams Lake on April 22, thanks to the efforts and vision of two young business owners Leslie Mahar and Lacey Tomlinson.

Leslie from Paper Airplanes and Lacey from Something Borrowed Weddings and Events are bringing together vendors, shoppers, and families for Handmade in the Cariboo.

“This is a great chance to showcase local artisans who make things with their own two hands,” they said.“These are unique, one-of-a-kind items you can’t Google or buy online—things people have invested their heart, time, and creativity to make.”

They have a full line-up of vendors signed up. “People are very enthusiastic about this: everyone was all for it,” said Mahar. “This is going to be a family event. There’s lots of space to move around and there will be a face painter and a musician to entertain and interact with the kids. Exploring the Puddle Learning Centre will run the concession and there will be a little café where people can sit and visit: an excellent cure for spring fever.”

Tomlinson explained there will be a small number of catalogue vendors, but said the heart of the event is the handmade.

You’ll find everything from unique industrial-themed home décor to baby bibs, from jewellery to rustic signs and cross-stitching to soaps. There will be felting, crocheting, and a wide range of exterior and interior décor and furnishings.

“When it’s homemade you know where it’s coming from,” said Tomlinson. “There are so many box stores selling things from around the world. These things are made by your neighbour and you want to support them and their families.

“I’m a handmade business,” said Mahar. “I fully appreciate what goes into creating and making: it’s nice to find unique things.”

A lot of people don’t know what’s available in a community, added Tomlinson. “There are some gems out there and the Handmade in the Cariboo event is a way to make people aware.

“For shoppers, we offer something for everyone—this is a destination and a way to spend some fun time downtown.”

Mary Forbes will be on hand to do fun composting presentations for kids.

“And besides, it’s Earth Day,” said Mahar. “Handmade artisans are all about recycling and refurbishing. There is less packaging and things are made here, not shipped here.

“When you support handmade artisans, you’re reducing our footprint.”

Handmade in the Cariboo will take place on April 22 at Elks Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information follow Handmade in the Cariboo on Facebook.

LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids.



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