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WATCH NOW: Saturday craft fair a welcome venue for vendors
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WATCH NOW: Saturday craft fair a welcome venue for vendors

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BRISTOL -- Local crafters were thankful for the opportunity this weekend to sell their wares at the Bristol Country Club Craft Fair at a time when many chances to do so have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Marcy Pettersen, who was selling her repurposed Christmas décor, said a show she had planned to operate a boot at in Gurnee, Ill., was cancelled when “Tier 3” COVID-19 restrictions went into effect there Friday.

“I had passed on several other events for the same day as that because I was already booked,” Marcy, who works part-time for a family-owned business in Kenosha, said. “It has been difficult to find events.”

Nicole Merkes, of Kenosha, said she came to shop at the craft fair Saturday to support those whose livelihood has been affected by the pandemic.

“I’d rather buy gifts from small business owners,” Nicole, who purchased several cloth masks made by Briana Silvani, of Racine.

Silvani said she took up sewing when she was furloughed earlier this year.

“I’d never sewn before in my life,” Briana said. “My daughter needed a mask for work and my friends needed them. So, I watched a (video) tutorial and started making masks.”

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Because learning to sew involved some trial and error, there were some scraps. Her daughter Emma, 18, decided to get involved, using the scraps to make hair scrunchies out of discarded material.

After perfecting the muslim-lined masks with adjustable ear straps, Silvani was able to sell her masks for $5 each at the Oak Creek Farmers Market all summer.

Likewise, Bonnie Smith, of Kenosha, watched a tutorial and has spent the pandemic making festive wreaths.

“I made one for my sister and my mom,” Smith said. “People liked them so much I ended up making 35 in a month.”

Since that time it has been difficult finding venues to sell the wreaths.

“I was so thankful to find this craft fair so close to home,” Smith said.

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