Craft enthusiasts from all over Tompkins County will have the opportunity to admire and purchase the work of local crafters at the 2019 Groton Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Groton Junior/Senior High School.
Groton Junior/Senior High School teacher Annette Twitchell founded the show nine years ago as a means of generating funds for students in the French club to use to cover the travel costs of the club’s trip to France in 2021, while also benefiting the community. The costs of each vendor booth ($20 per booth and five dollars for an extra table), along with the money from concessions stands, bake sale and silent auction, go to the French club. All of the money from purchases at each booth are kept by the vendors.
“I was looking for something that was an event that would be better for the community,” Twitchell said. “I did a little research and saw that a lot of high schools had a craft show, but we don’t have many around here. I contacted Tully High School, actually. I had heard about their show. The gal there explained to me how it works and that’s how it started.”
“I started to put it together…While we were trying to get it off the ground, I would go myself to many craft shows, and I would hand a paper to vendors. I hand selected those that I thought would be good to have, so I could have variety. It just really took off.”
In the show’s first year, Twitchell said she was able to recruit about 50 vendors to attend it. This year, there will be over 100 vendors attending the show, which will fill up both the high school and middle school gyms. She said her list of vendors was already full by Oct. 3, which was the soonest that has ever happened.
“By about year four, I didn’t have to do anymore recruiting,” she said of the show’s growth. “It was recruiting for itself, because we got a good reputation out there in the community. Vendors would recommend me to [other] vendors.”
She said she has hosted vendors from out of state, specifically from Vermont and Pennsylvania. The majority of the show’s vendors, though, are within an hour’s drive, according to Twitchell.
Irene Kulis is the owner of Twilight Alpacas, LLC in Spencer. Kulis said she has been selling her alpaca-based crafts at the show for at least five or six years.
“We sell hats, scarves,” Kulis said. “Probably one of my biggest sellers is socks. Shawls, blankets, stuffed animals. Quite a variety of just about anything that you would knit or weave, we try to carry.”
One new feature with this year’s show is that the club will be offering a space in the school’s library for shoppers to drop off their purchases so they do not have to carry them around for the amount of time they choose to spend at the show. Folks who choose to drop off their purchases will be charged a dollar per hour for having their goods stored there.
“They can finish shopping, and then when it’s over we can carry it out to their car for them if they would like,” Twitchell said. “They can pull up their car up to the front doors, and we’ll load their car for them … because some of the stuff that’s here is small, but some of it is quite bulky.”
Admission to the show is free. Twitchell said people can expect to see handcrafted jewelry, woodwork, knitted, quilted, sown, embroidered items, paintings, holiday and rustic decor, pet products, essential oils, goat milk soaps and lotions, among other crafts at the show.
“People are so creative,” she said. “It is such a pleasure to put on display for the community what people spend their time doing, because it’s just a beautiful sight. It’s really beautiful to walk around and see the creativity of what people come up with.”