From crystals to crocheting, PA’s craft fair had it all

Quilla Chavez, Staff Writer

Over 85 local crafters, artists, and photographers participated in the annual PA Spring Craft Fair this year in support of the FMC on February 11. The lower 200 hallway, cafeteria, and atrium were transformed into marketplaces, with tables piled high with an array of handmade goods and one-of-a-kind crafts filling the spaces.

Small businesses like Sunshine Treats VB and CupsUp Food Truck offered breakfast and lunch at the day-long event, and admission was free. Volunteers from the band helped set up the vendors’ mini-shops the day prior, and a few were present the day of the event to ensure that it ran smoothly. 

Starting in 2017, the event has become a staple of the community and has given a platform to hundreds of small businesses in the area. Despite the fair being canceled due to COVID in 2020 and 2021, spaces for vendors have consistently been sold out ever since, indicating that the craft fair’s popularity hasn’t taken a hit. 

To earn money for the band, PA hosts two craft fairs each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Chesapeake Bay Soap Works owner Teresa Stawson attended the previous fair at PA and sold a range of soaps and bath bombs, all of which were exquisitely made and had vibrant fragrances. Years earlier, she had fallen in love with the art of soap making after learning about it at another craft fair.

 “I started watching YouTube videos, and after perhaps a thousand videos, I was hooked,” said Stawson. She started selling them a year later and was able to leave her full-time job in April of last year so she could devote more time to her business. 

 Her love for soap-making is apparent as she talks animatedly about “getting to pick the colors and scents” and the “hundreds of different mica colors” people sell in order to give the soaps vibrant colors. Stawson acknowledges that it isn’t the most affordable pastime, but she has found success in community craft fairs, where her goods usually sell out.

Other homemade crafts included crocheting by Clouds Craft Corner and Hooked By Sara Crochet and custom crystals by Coastal Crystals and Cabochans. The crocheted designs ranged from adorable character plushies to beach bags, while the crystals appeared to have come straight out of Classical period landscape paintings. 

The following PA craft show is anticipated to take place this coming fall, continuing the recently established tradition.