SIU handicraft shop holds Valentine’s Day craft sale – The Daily Egyptian

For over 30 years, the Craft Shop has held holiday craft sales of products contributed by local artists and craftspeople, providing access to these businesses for the community, students and staff.

The Craft Shop is accepting entries for this year’s Valentine’s Day Craft Sale until February 11.

This year, the Valentine’s Day Craft Sale will be held February 14 at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) Art Gallery from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. She is on the first floor of the SIU student center, near the escalator. It is free and open to the public.

This year, new artists have decided to participate in this Valentine’s Day craft sale, since there were none last year. The store has decided to reinstate the sale to help people find unique gifts for their loved ones.

Stéphanie Dukat, craft store coordinator and organizer of the sale, said this was the third one she had been in charge of, but had attended since 2013.

“It’s an important event in our community to hold craft sales, to give people the opportunity to showcase their work at the SIU,” Dukat said. “Without it, I don’t think we would have as much access on campus to handmade, locally made products.”

Dukat is also an SIU alumnus of the ceramics masters program and said the shop will sell some of the crafts the students make in their spare time.

“When we’re getting ready for a class, we’ll make a few examples, or if we have downtime, we’ll make items to sell at different craft sales,” Dukat said.

She also had a message for artists, saying that their craft doesn’t have to depict love.
“They may have more, like a unique gift or have a unique item.” said Ducat.

Arionne Smith, a recent SIU alumnus with her bachelor’s degree in fashion design and merchandising and owner of Custom Dreams, said it was her first appearance at the sale, but not her first.

Custom Dreams is an at-home spa experience, where Smith makes organic products to help relax at home and she also customizes unisex loungewear. She has her own YouTube account where she takes people through her behind-the-scenes entrepreneurial experience of starting a small business in a small town.

“I sell body butter, candles, bath soaps, and customize women’s jumpsuits and men’s sweatpants and t-shirts,” Smith said, “My website is and my YouTube is Custom Dreams.”

Smith said her products help fight stress and stress-related illnesses. She offers specific products that she says help with anxiety and depression and even offers a “women’s health bath” designed to help women with cramps.

“For Valentine’s Day, I’m very excited. My brand contains a lot of aphrodisiac ingredients. It will be great for couples,” Smith said. “I’m going to bring organic shower sprays, they’re like a little pod that has essential oils and little ingredients in it to help relieve headaches and sinuses.”

Smith looks forward to the sale to increase his company’s visibility and meet with clients one-on-one to meet their specific needs.

“I will help the community, a lot of people are currently living in very stressful environments. This will help raise awareness in the region,” she said.

Smith won’t be the only vendor selling handmade candles. 618 Candle Company is participating again this year.

Meghan Buehner and her husband own The Printing Plant here in Carbondale, where they have a store-front gift shop known as 618 Candle Co.

“One of the products we decided to launch at the start of Covid was a candle business. I spend my days making products and making candles, and looking for wholesale accounts,” Buehner said.

Since expanding the gift shop, 618 Candle Co. has created a full line for the Valentine’s Day sale.

“We’ll be bringing special Valentine’s Day gift baskets,” she said. “We will also have local products that we offer in our gift shop, locally made BBQ seasonings and sauces, locally made root beer and coffee. In addition, we are authorized to sell SIU products: Saluki farm signs, luggage tags and photo frames with the Saluki logo. »

These craft sales help local businesses venture out and find new customers.

“We’ve built, you know, a lot of relationships with new clients and working alongside other businesses, getting the craft show exposure has been absolutely invaluable.” said Ducat.

Since the show is hosted locally, vendors collaborate a lot with each other to drive growth.

“Exposure is the best thing that comes with shows and repeat customers. Just getting our name out there and building relationships with other businesses, and continuing to encourage us to shop locally and support us each other,” Buehner said.

Jessica Lynn, a self-employed southern Illinois resident who administers a local nonprofit, is a farmer and herbal medicine maker who will be selling items.

His company, Restorative Roots Herbs, along with three others, Bridget Ryan, Adriane Koontz and Ellen Esling, manufactures from seed to bottle small batches of herbal products that they grow on their individual farms.

“Herbal tinctures, fire cider, herbal teas, several types of herbal ointments, face serum, clay face masks and incense herbs”, are what to expect when selling this year, Lynn said.

“My herbal remedies are about caring for ourselves, others and the earth,” she said.

Lynn said awareness will be the most positive attribute she looks forward to gaining this year.

There is still room for more vendors and come showcase their work and meet other local artists, craftspeople and traders.

Those looking for a gift for a loved one, or even for themselves, can stop by the Art Gallery on February 14.
For more information, visit the Craft Shops website

Staff reporter Kamaria Harmon can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @QuoteKamariaa. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Laura J. Boyer