HUNTINGTON, WV. (WOWK) – As festivals and fairs continue around the Tri-State many local vendors are excited to be able to make a profit on their passion again.
“We worked all year making our goods and the shows are our only, really, contact with the customers,” said Kens Clay Jewelry Creations owner, Ken Epperly. “You know everybody was really anxious to get back out there. I can’t tell you what that means after a year of quarantine.”
Epperly said festivals and fairs are the main source of income for most local crafters and last year as the pandemic canceled almost all of them, he was making zero income. This year he’s grateful to be back.
“Everyone was so excited to be back out,” said Epperly. “We were holding our breath it wouldn’t be canceled because many did. Bridge day and Mothman festival I’ve done it, it canceled, but with the vaccines and the masking, you have to live. You’ve got to get back out there and live a little you know, so I felt protected.”
He said as festivals return this year, the local vendors aren’t the only ones excited to back and that business is better than ever.
“The festivals to me have been better,” said Epperly. “I’ve exceeded, and all the other vendors say they’ve exceeded their sales. I think people are ready to get back out in droves.”
His favorite part is interacting with the community, as he tries to inspire others to pursue future crafting careers.
“I like to interact with the crowd,” said Epperly. “I’m lucky I can demo. I actually make the product right there at the booth and if I can get people to stop and look they are just amazed at how the patterns are created. It means a lot to me. I have as much fun demonstrating as I do selling.”