For the first time in almost a year, the Cloquet Craft and Vendor Show is bringing customers and business owners out in droves for two days of sales at the Cloquet Armory and Pine Tree Plaza.
The show features 74 local vendors, ranging from crafters to farmers to metal workers.
The two locations are open for business from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday, April 30, and again from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, May 1.
Event organizer Pam Hubbard shared that the event has been going smoothly so far, with a lot of traffic in both locations.
“It’s been great,” she said. “The vendors are wonderful.”
The show took about two months to organize, according to Hubbard, who coordinated the effort alongside her daughter, Krista Eugenis.
Both Hubbard and Eugenis are hosting booths at the show, in addition to overseeing the event.
They both said they were thrilled to see so many people attend, with large crowds filtering in and out throughout Friday morning.
Many vendors say this is the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that they have been able to sell their products to customers in person, and while online sales have been helpful, nothing can compare to a face-to-face experience.
“It is so nice to be able to be back out,” business owner Cyndi Burley said.
Burley owns and operates 63 Moose Lane, along with a handful of employees. She has been in business in the Duluth area since 2014, selling bath, body and home products.
Burley and her employee Leslie Aho both shared that the show was seeing a lot of traffic.
The same was true for artist Scott Peterson, of the metal working business Galvanized Guy.
Galvanized Guy features unique designs carved into random metals objects, such as buckets and saws, made by Peterson.
By noon Friday, the gnome pieces at the booth had sold out and customers were constantly flowing in and out of the shop space.
Peterson simultaneously laughed and grimaced when realizing that he was going to have to go home that night to make more pieces before the second show on Saturday.
“There’s nothing like getting to the shows,” he said.
For some vendors, the Cloquet Craft and Vendor show was their first.
Iron Range artist April Yeung said she was relieved by how well-organized the event was considering this was her first time participating in a show.
Yeung and her friend, Ashley Rantala, had a joint booth at the show featuring their handmade artwork.
They were both excited by the large turnout Friday, sharing that selling their art has not been easy during the pandemic.
In addition to the vendors, customers were also thrilled to be at the show, walking through the rows of vendors with bags in hand.
Grand Rapids resident Donna Ramnarine said she was just happy to be out of the house and seeing something different.
“It’s nice to be able to go and do something again,” Esko resident Jan Siedlecki said.
Siedlecki used to be crafter and shared that she was happy to be at a show, even though she wasn’t selling anything.