Crafty in the country

By Tessa Johnstone

Craft Country's contemporary arts fair is gaining such a reputation that this year it has an enthusiastic shopper coming from Christchurch especially for the occasion.

Emma McCleary, who organises the annual event with fellow creatives Michele Stokes and Natalie Friend, said she was surprised to hear from a Christchurch woman who did not have anything to sell.

"She said, 'no, no, I just want to buy, I've heard the fair's amazing'."

The December 15 fair, held at Greytown Town Centre, will see up to 20 hand-picked contemporary designers and crafters from Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay, Auckland and Wellington selling their wares.

"It's more what you'd expect at a modern contemporary design store rather than what you'd expect at a jumble sale," said Ms McCleary.

The trio organised the fair for the first time in 2010, not sure if anyone would come at all let alone be lining up half an hour before the event, and the success has seen a collective set up a three-day-a-week store on Fitzherbert St.

Ms McCleary said there is a lot of creativity in Wairarapa, particularly in Featherston.

" ... there is a group of really creative people here.

"There probably is everywhere, but it's bringing them out, making them more visible, giving them a place to sell and having something positive," Ms McCleary said.

At this year's fair, people who bring a can of food to be donated to Featherston Food Bank will go in the draw to win a $100 voucher for the Craft Country store.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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