The Williamston Pop-Up Arts and Crafts Show will take place Saturday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside Keller’s Plaza in Williamston,
After nearly a two-year hiatus, the Williamston Pop Up Arts and Crafts Show will return to Keller’s Plaza in Williamston on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The show will feature handmade items from a number of local artisans and makers, including watercolor, graphite and acrylic paint artists.
“It’s a fun day to get artisans and crafters and people up here,” said show coordinator and The Artisan Alcove Gallery and Gifts Owner Matt Mulford. “It helps rejuvenate us, invigorate us and inspire us to keep at it.”
How COVID-19 affected the show and business
In March 2020, Mulford made the decision to cancel the show for safety reasons without knowing that the pandemic would prevent another show the following year.
The shutdown significantly hindered the local artists’ businesses as they were unable to sell their work in person for at least six weeks.
The pandemic forced Watercolorist and Owner of the Michigan Lighthouse Art Gallery Anita Saviko to switch her watercolor classes to Zoom for six months.
Despite her disdain of teaching online, it was the only way to pay the rent.
“I had the little gallery over here for about eight years,” Saviko said. “Then February 2020, I rented this one which is three times the size and three times the rent. And then in March we closed it, but I still had rent to pay.”
Kate Wilcox-Leigh, owner of jewelry business Adornment by Kate Wilcox-Leigh in Williamston, designs and handcrafts all the pieces herself.
With the COVID-19 cancelations of shows, Wilcox-Leigh was unable to sell her work.3
“I didn’t do any shows,” Wilcox-Leigh said. “I think shows are pretty much half my income for my business, and last year’s lack of shows really hurt me pretty bad.”
Saviko credits the survival of their businesses to the campaign to shop small and shop local. She said people would come up to the shops last year during the holiday season to buy gifts with cash instead of card as they understood that card transactions cost the artists 2%.
“So, that was really special, as we people really, really understood how important that was and they kept us going,” Saviko said.
Artisans looking forward to the return of pop up show
The Artisan Alcove Gallery and Gifts owned by Matt Mulford and the Michigan Lighthouse Gallery owned by Anita Saviko are located upstairs in Keller’s Plaza where the pop-up show will be
Saviko said the artists waited until everyone felt comfortable before having another pop-up show during the pandemic.
“Artists are a pretty considerate group,” Saviko said. “They don’t want to give anything to anybody and they don’t want to take it home, so you kind of have to walk the line until we get to a point where we can feel safe together.”
Now that everyone is comfortable, the artists are excited to be able to participate in the show again.
Having face-to-face and one-on-one interactions again with people who attend the show is something Mulford enjoys.
“We’ve had so much time off that you kind of forget the interaction,” …….