BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – Appalachia is filled with creators who deserve to showcase their life-long passions.
On Saturday, August 26, 2023, the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center hosted the Appalachian Maker’s Market.
From bakers to fine jewelry crafters, vendors from the state of West Virginia and the surrounding area all gathered at the convention center.
A wide variety of vendors set up their booths to sell their hand-crafted wares. Each booth specialized in certain crafts, like wood carving or ceramics.
Food vendors were set up outside of the convention center. There were six food vendors frying up food and pouring drinks.
One craft vendor, who worked as a school teacher in the local community, says that crafting connects her with the people and earth around her.
“I do this more for my mental health, you know? It connects me with the land and the people who came before me,” said Kathryn Hemetek, owner of Kathy’s Creations.
Vendors like Hemetek spend all year crafting products for the event.
A quilt competition showcasing 15 different categories was held during the market. This year’s theme was called “Garden Party”.
Karen Sparks, owner of Sparks Visuals and Sculptures, says her craft started on a whim, but now she enjoys attending markets and making connections.
“You get to share your art, and when you share it usually puts a smile on that person’s face. The person that’s selling and the person that’s buying,” said Sparks.
Family friendly activities included clog dancers, balloon art and line dancing.
Organizers say that the market started off small but continues to grow every year.