A successful sign of spring

     For the folks in this area it is one of the long-anticipated signs that winter is finally over and spring is here.
     The Annual Langbank Craft and Trade Show was held on Sunday, April 9th. The show featured 42 different vendors and drew a crowd of over 160 people eager to check out the wide variety of merchandise available for sale.
     Gayleen Gurr, one of the Trade Show Organizers, notes that: "We had about the same number of vendors at the show this year as we've had other years. But this year, we had several people come in that were brand new vendors. That was really nice."
     For these vendors, the opportunity to introduce themselves and their products to people is often as valuable as any sales that they might make. Charlotte Stephen of Moosomin, for example, is an Arbonne Independent Consultant. She notes that: "Not many people are aware of what Arbonne is. A show like this gives me the chance to talk to them, not only about the skin care and make-up products that we have available, but the nutritional products that we offer as well. I used these products myself for ten years before I started selling them. So I can talk to people directly from my personal experience. And of course, I let them know that I'm out there, and they can purchase these products through me. So, this is time well spent, irregardless of how much product I sell."
     Jodie Jamieson from Wawota has been selling Tupperware for two years. However, along with Tupperware products, Jodie's booth at the Langbank show also offered people the chance to purchase some of her original paintings.
     "I've always done some painting. But, my husband really encouraged me to pursue it a little more. So, I've been doing paintings like these. I decided to bring some along with me for this show...sort of at the last minute. I'm glad that I did it! There are a lot of people that seem interested in them."
     Terry Selinger and Emmanuel Scholpp from Kisbey have also found a way to turn their artwork into a lucrative sideline. Terry does paintings on saw-blades, and says that she finds it highly rewarding.
     "I've been doing this for about twenty-five years. It's something that I really enjoy, and people seem to like it. I won't make millions doing this but I make some. And, I get to be out there meeting people as well. I do several shows in Manitoba and I'm at the Red Barn in the summer. This is the first time I've been to this show. It's very interesting, there is certainly a lot of different vendors here!"
     Emmanuel, who creates various sculptures and display pieces out of metal, agrees with Terry adding that his unique work attracted a lot of interest in Langbank.
     "My father was a professional woodcarver. I decided pretty young that I didn't want to work in wood but I really enjoy working with metal. A lot of people have been coming over to look at my work...it's attracted a lot of attention."
     Melissa Cosgrove and her 13-year-old daughter Avery from Storthoaks were also vendors at the show. Melissa, who sells wellness products and essential oils, explains that she and her daughter went into their respective 'lines' quite naturally.
     "I began selling these products in 2010, after using them myself for years before that. I like to have Aroma Bracelets available for sale, and I was having trouble sourcing them. So, Avery started making them for me. Now, she's creating her own line of gemstone jewelry! I think that is a wonderful thing for a girl her age to be doing. She's making beautiful things and learning how to run a business as well."
     Melissa says that the pair were pleasantly surprised by the Langbank show.
     "We were a little nervous when we pulled into Langbank. It's smaller than Storthoaks! But, it's been a very good show. We've been very impressed."
Lynn Hagedorn from Fleming, explains that 'Hagedorn's Berries' ìgrew upî from what seemed to her to be a ìnatural decisionî:
     "We bought an acreage near Fleming, and I decided I wanted to start a U-Pick. People certainly came to pick. But we had so much wonderful fresh fruit available, that I began making jams and jellies. I decided to sell the jams and jellies because my family could only use so much. I decided other people should have the chance to enjoy them as much as we do!"
     She adds that she is happy to be able to be at the Langbank show this year.
     "I wasn't able to be here last year. So, I'm excited to have the chance to come this year. I've met a lot of people and the response has been very positive. So, I'm looking forward to being back."
     For Country Music Recording Artist Eli Barsi Langbank is very familiar territory. She grew up on a farm just a few miles away. But, this is the first time that Eli has been to the Trade Show to sell her 'Prairie Girl Gifts' creations. She notes that while the venue is small it attracts attention because of its unique qualities.
     "I think that Langbank really 'ups it' a few notches with this Trade Show. They have a very good variety of unique vendors here. And, the lunch that they served was really fantastic. This show is becoming a 'destination' and that is wonderful to see."
     While the total proceeds from the show are not yet known Gayleen explains that: "After expenses, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Rec Board. So, this is an awesome fund-raiser for our community."
     She goes on to note that: "This year's show was a phenomenal success. And, all of the credit for that goes to the volunteers who helped, the vendors that came out and the people that came through the doors to see the show. It's the people that make anything like this work and we have some wonderful people here."
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