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AristoKrafts Fair Makes Debut

A candle maker’s multimedia effort to market her creations brought a bit of home-fueled art to the Waynedale area.

Local businesswoman and candle maker, Crystal Parsons, said she conceived a new arts fair primarily to sell and market her hand-crafted candle creations. From that genesis was born the AristoKrafts Fair.

“The whole reason we started this,” Parsons noted, “was because of our candles.”

Luckily for her, advertising and word-of-mouth for the event took off, and the fair attracted several more vendors and numerous more attendees than she had originally planned.

“All of our vending fees went into advertising,” Parsons said. She estimates spending about $3,000 on promoting the event, making advertising buys in local newspapers, including the Waynedale News, radio ads, magazines, hand-out flyers, and Facebook advertising.

For sale at the no-admission fair will be homemade candles, jewelry, clothing, and works from local artists.

The event will also feature a food truck for hungry shoppers from Lav’s Cuban Café serving up Cuban eats. Attendees are also able to take pictures with Santa if they like, getting to tell him their last-minute Christmas wishes.

The event will also feature an open-mic time for performers of any and all types of instruments interested in performing for the crowds.

The festival will take place on Dec. 18 (noon -9pm) and 19 (noon- 6pm) in the Foster Park shopping center, 1940 Bluffton Road, which used to be the old Quimby Village.

Ultimately, more than 50 vendors will set up shop during the fair, significantly more than Parsons has originally hoped for. “It got to the point where we had to turn away vendors interested in selling here,” she said. Roughly 1,000 people are expected to come shop the attractions and merchandise, Parsons estimates.

Parsons, a 33-year-old who runs a holistic landscaping business called Bee Kind Landscaping during the summer with her boyfriend, Steve Plys, also works in home renovation and candle making during the winters.

She said hosting a fair such as this not only serves local consumers, but plays into Waynedale’s evolving identity.

“Waynedale has seen a big change,” Parsons said. “The community is growing and evolving. And I think there is going to be more of a need for events like this.

Right now, there is a huge movement to move toward things that are local, and if we start to focus on things like that, everything can be much more sustainable than we ever thought it could be.”

Michael Morrissey
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Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer