Due to Tallahassee’s ever changing policies on in-person events and programs, many of the city’s larger engagements have been canceled or made virtual in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic.
Last weekend’s third annual Craft Fest was able to reunite the city through its safety conscious recognition of local vendors, food trucks, music and family friendly activities. Due to the work and planning of Lauren Williams, families and individuals alike were once again able to enjoy the familiarity of public socialization and captivating terrain at the Automobile Museum.
This event was able to cater to community members of all ages to create an inviting, safe and whimsical weekend.
From the parking lot of the museum you could hear the laughter of children and as you got closer your eyes began to grasp the oasis of diversity, entrepreneurship and creativity.
The event showcased a plethora of businesses from retail and jewelry to pepper spray and pastries. They event also had music playing throughout the venue and an egg hunt done every hour for the kids. Even with the event being held outside to lessen possible exposure to COVID-19, they also stressed the use of masks going and leaving the event and sanitizer was made available at all the booths and food trucks.
This was an essential part for many in attendance. Business owner James Daniels said that this was an integral part of his attendance.
“I would have left if I hadn’t seen people wearing masks,” Daniels said. “Protection is key.”
Many if not all the business owners were from Tallahassee, such as WillioWisps Fractural Designs created by Lauren Walker. She made her pieces using wood working and high voltage electricity that marks the wood with a unique design. Her intriguing hobby was sparked during the pandemic leading her to sell beads, bird houses, tables and coasters. Award winning writer Pat Stanford was also there not just selling her new book, “Fixing Boo Boo,” but helping community members find a good novel for the summer. “BriSafety,” another business blooming from quarantine boredom, was present at Craft Fest. Brianna Rogers, the owner of the business, started the brand after being sexually assaulted and used her traumatic experience to help others in her community not just by selling products but also teaming up with women’s groups to help protect women. Though Rogers believes she is blessed to be able to sell her arrangement of self-defense keychains in many different areas, she believes that this event helped her to locally showcase her products.
“Because of this craft show I was definitely able to reach out to my clientele on a local level,” Roger said. “It was one of the first times I really got a great reaction from my town.”
Event Host Lauren Williams described the goal for the event to give vendors and small business and small businesses the opportunity to promote their products in a COVID-19 safe space. Many would agree that she not only met this goal, she also warmed the hearts of all in attendance.