The largest summer craft show in Western Canada is well under way in Vernon.
Creative Chaos kicked off Friday and will run through Sunday at the Vernon Recreation Centre, the Vernon Curling Club and Priest Valley Arena.
Hundreds of vendors are at the three-day event, selling goods ranging from crafts to games to jewelry to wine and so much more.
Sean Matthews, owner of Tracy Fine Products, has been coming to Creative Chaos from Calgary for 10 years.
“Large crowds show up every year, and that’s impressive, and it leads to good sales as well,” he said. “But it’s just really impressive how many people come to this relatively small town in such big numbers.”
Matthews makes turned wood products using a lathe, crafting pepper mills, coffee grinders, pizza cutters, ice cream scoops, pens and more from scratch. He sources most of his wood from the Okanagan.
He says his pepper mills are by far the most popular item he sells, making up nearly half of his revenue. He says the pepper mills are “very old school” and are adjustable using a screw at the top. Not to mention, they’re very durable; the pepper mill he uses at home has lasted 10 years.
“I just try to do very high quality products,” he said, adding business has been good so far this year, on par with last year’s sales which were “fantastic.”
Another veteran of Creative Chaos, Gerard Masson, has been coming to the craft show for 23 years. Originally from southern France, he moved from Edmonton to Victoria one year ago.
Masson’s business, L’Art de Vivre, offers high quality fabric products that are imported from France and cut and sewed in Canada. His items include table cloths, place mats, aprons, duvet covers — “anything you can imagine with fabric.”
“It’s really a good atmosphere, for us there’s a lot of traffic in terms of people because of the fact that it’s free for people to get in,” said Masson. “We get good feedback, people come back and buy more stuff every year because they are happy with the quality.”
Offering home decor products, Signs from the Heart had a booth set up offering signs made from scratch out of wood. Terry Martens was manning the booth for his wife, who couldn’t attend, and said business was steady throughout the day Friday.
“She makes all of these signs from scratch and she’s been doing it now for about four years,” said Martens, explaining that his wife stains the wood and makes the frames of the signs by hand, before painting a message onto the wood.
It’s just the second year the couple have attended Creative Chaos, and they plan to be back in the future.
“We have a lot of fun,” Martens said.