Houchens Center hosts annual Shop Day
Cheryl Morris and Jolette Jacobs browsed over jewelry, embroideries and artwork before stopping at a table display of handmade molted glass ornaments – some purple, some orange, some spotted, some big, some small – and then moving on to pottery.
“There’s such a variety,” Morris said. “These are great gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person.”
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, the Eloise B. Houchens Center opened its doors to the community for its annual Shop Day, where 12 area craftsmen showcased a variety of items, ranging from needlework to glasswork done by Morgantown’s Bill Van Tassel to jewelry to woodwork.
Morris bought a wooden cutting board for her father, who works with wood but never made one for himself.
“I wanted to see all the unique things here,” she said.
“This is my first time here. It’s a lot of neat stuff here,” said Jacobs, who bought some scarves, earrings and a slate Santa from Nell Peperis, a local artist.
Jacobs wasn’t the only person to buy art from Peperis. Cilicia Burden, of Morgantown, came specifically to get a painted Santa.
“I have a girl across the street from my home who is the same age as my daughter, and I give her this as a gift,” she said. “I’ve gotten one in Shakertown for the past 10 years, but when I went she was out, so she painted one for me. I felt I had to get one or (my neighbor) would be disappointed.”
By 11 a.m. the house buzzed with activity as people trickled in, looking over the different vendors’ items, like the little angels handmade out of antique quilts.
“It takes a lot of time to make them by hand,” said Debbie Woods, of Smiths Grove. “They’re $2 apiece. I like to price them like if I were to buy them, I would be able to get them “
Woods said she did shows for eight years, but decided to take a break. She said she called the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to see if there were any shows she could do and they told her about the Houchens Center.
“This is wonderful,” she said.
While the CVB informed Woods of the center’s annual event, Misha Ambrosia found out through Kay Zoretic, who was selling her custom jewelry. Ambrosia said Zoretic asked her about doing the annual event three or four months ago.
“I always like doing Christmas things,” Ambrosia said. “It’s fun.”
Shop Day, which has become a staple during the center’s annual festival of trees, is done not only to bring people into the home to see the trees but to showcase local artists’ work, said Mary Ann Cole, a board member for the center.
“This is a beautiful setting,” said Kathy Meeusen, who started making handmade decorated trinket boxes, picture frames and hand mirrors a year ago. “I love the remarks people give, and this puts our product out there by word of mouth. I think this helps both (the center and the vendor) out.”
Cole said they were a little disappointed in the turnout, but it was still a successful day in showcasing the home and for the vendors.
“There were a lot of people I’ve never seen before come in and see the center,” said Zoretic, who has taken part in the Shop Day event before. “I did a good bit of business. (Things) I make make good gifts. I sell well here, and today went well.”
Anne Grubbs, a member of the Houchens Center’s board and a committee member for the annual Trees of Christmas event, said this is the fifth time they’ve had the Shop Day attached to the annual tree event.
“There are good, quality items here,” Meeusen said. “This is definitely something I’d tell my friends about. People can come see the trees and do a little shopping, too.”
One of the last customers to leave, Martha Jenkins, of Bowling Green, was tucking away her newly purchased cherry wood tray.
“I bought some jewelry, too,” she said. “I enjoy craft fairs, and I liked some of the things on sale. I have a good time.”
Jordan, Natalie (2009, December). Talk of the Town with Lindsey McClain. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.bgdailynews.com/features/talk-of-the-town-with-lindsey-mcclain/article_6dfeeb6f-0499-5d01-93c6-e8cad2e53677.html