Creative North Hosts First Spring Expo In Bemidji
The halls of Bemidji High School were taken over by the city’s craftiest people this weekend. From handmade to home-cooked and everything in between, the Spring Expo was here to give the people all the unique finds they could imagine.
“We make goat milk, soap, lotion, chap stick, bath bombs using fresh goat milk. We use all natural oils, so there’s no chemicals in our products,” says Kelly Bellefy of Bellefy’s Local Bubbles.
“I actually make the base of the hat out of buckram, so it’s a material you can wet and then shape it,” says Kelly Schultz while showing off the hats she makes for her business, Angeline Alice Millinery.
“I make polymer clay things and little books, new sermon notebooks,” says Heather Mathias of Books and Buddies.
The idea for the Spring Expo came from Creative North’s Michelle Ruport, who wanted to help out local artists.
“I’ve just always had a passion for working with artists and helping them promote their own businesses and promoting the idea of using your hands to create a product – not always just running into your local big bucks store,” says Ruport.
Admission to the expo was free, but attendees were encouraged to donate food to the Bemidji Community Food Shelf.
“March is food share month, and this is the time of year when we try to raise as much dollars and food that we can,” says Mary Mitchell, executive director of the Bemidji Community Food Shelf. She adds, “This is what helps us get through the summer months.”
Along with helping the food shelf, the event was a great way for people to show their talents and passions.
“I started about four years ago with just a little pack of hobby clay and it went from there. So [I’ve been] adding new things every year and trying to do different things,” says Mathias.
With the first Spring Expo proving to be a success, organizers say more of them may pop up in the future.
“I love it! I think it’s a great event to have in the spring. People are getting excited for different events and weddings,” says Schultz.
“I really appreciate all the arts and crafts artists that have helped me build it up, and I think we’re going to keep doing it,” says Ruport.
The expo had more than 40 vendors this year.