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The Antelope

The Antelope

Craft show gives platform to campus businesses

Kim Frieson sells her charms and stickers to Jenna Eichthaler during the craft show. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

For the 28th annual year, students and staff set up their booths for the craft show in UNK’s Student Union with items ranging from crocheted goods to glass-blown ornaments. Lonna Wiess, the event’s organizer, started sewing table runners and pitched the idea years ago for others to participate.

“I just thought it was a neat thing that you get to know what other people do in their lives,” Wiess said. “Other than just in the office or in the classroom.”

The craft show is open to anyone to showcase their talents and hobbies. Wiess sends out an email before the show to students, faculty or staff, and it is an easy process to be added to the vendor list. For students, there is no charge to participate, whereas staff pay a small participation fee. The booths were lined near The Grid with easy access for all students to sweep through the vendors between their schedules. Many students were conversing with the vendors, learning more about their crafts. 

“When seeing the whole campus embrace it and come and support all the students and all of us participating, it’s very encouraging to see that they value the work that we do,” Wiess said. “I hope it continues to grow every year.” 

Among all the assortment of crafts, glass-blown ornaments hung from grad student Taylor Moore’s booth. 

“I have been making some seasonal items to get ready for the show in our upcoming holiday sale for the glass club,” Moore said. “A lot of the pieces I have are vases I have made throughout the years.”

Matt Ziemke, ceramics senior lecturer, displayed his bowls and other pieces, while Kaiya Diestler, a student, showcased her art prints and creative jewelry, creating a wide variety of products.

The opportunity gives, especially students on campus, a look into progressing as an artist or small business management. 

“There’s a big learning curve whenever you’re an artist and you’re trying to figure out how to do it (selling at shows),” Moore said. “This is a good safe place to see what works well for other people in terms of displaying or payment processing.”

The show also brought a look into the assortment of talents, hobbies and craftsmanship that the UNK community has on campus. 

“Even all of the crochet booths were all different styles depending on the person that made them,” said Emma Bonsall, a sophomore in Spanish education. “That’s what I found most interesting.”

Bonsall was able to buy Christmas presents for her family and friends at the show while also giving back to the UNK community.

“The craft show directs people on the route of supporting small businesses in college,” Bonsall said. “It’s really great because then once you are an adult, you’ll keep supporting those types of businesses still.” 

Although Weiss will be retiring within the next year, she still hopes to see the craft show continue and grow in vendors in the coming years. 

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Corinne Smith
Corinne Smith, Reporter
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