ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Dozens of crafters and vendors took over the Escanaba Civic Center on Saturday April 23. Among them was craft show coordinator Kathleen Blanchard.

“It’s really fun to organize them. You get to know the crafters and the vendors. Being a vendor, you know all the tiny details and being a good communicator,” said Blanchard.

She has organized several craft fairs, including one coming up on Saturday, April 30 at the Westwood Mall in Marquette.

“I wanted to do this. I really enjoy the in-person events a little more than the online ones. Just because you get to see people. Not only the crafters and the vendors, but you get to see people in the community, and connect with local people. As a stay at home mom, that’s really important. I don’t get to go to work. I don’t get to see people out and everything. I felt like, there wasn’t one, so I helped not only with the one this weekend, but the one for next weekend,” added Blanchard.

What helps Blanchard as a coordinator, is being a vendor herself.

“I sell books for a company called Usborne Books and More which was created in the 70’s by Peter Usborne.” Blanchard continued, “They are kids books. They are super fun. As we get away from reading and go towards screens, we want to keep them engaging and fun in with books that kids will come back to with puzzles and lift a flaps and things that you can use. They are sensory books.”

Blanchard said before getting involved in the world of craft and vendor fairs, she was a stay at home mom and needed something fun to get out and work, do something fun and also earn income for her family.

“It’s just meeting people. It’s meeting artists I can not only connect with at the craft shows, but we become friends. I get to be friends on Facebook and follow their families. Other than getting to see kids interact with my books, I get to talk to other people who are in different stages of life. I get to make Grandma friends and stay at home mom friends and people who don’t have kids. We all just kind of come together as one community which is really exciting and fun.”

The craft and vendor fair at the Westwood Mall on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. You can find more details about it here.