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The annual Holiday Marketplace had its typically large variety of Christmas decor, and Melba Bradford ensured that the crafts show had the most traditional of holiday decorations, the Christmas wreath.
Flowers and Wreaths by Melba was one of dozens of booths that filled Pritchard Community Center this weekend as part of the Holiday Marketplace Arts and Crafts Show sponsored by the Elizabethtown Junior Woman’s Club. Bradford was selling her handmade wreaths that she’s been making for 10 years.
The marketplace was one of the first shows Bradford, of Fort Knox, has ever participated in, despite the fact that she’s been selling wreaths for quite a while.
Bradford stumbled upon the hobby when she wanted a wreath for her own home and decided to make it herself. She branched out to family and friends until her husband suggested she begin selling them.
While most of her wreaths at the marketplace were holiday-themed, she makes a variety of decorative wreaths as well as table arrangements. She mostly does custom orders.
Bradford described herself as “slow and meticulous” when it comes to making a wreath, and said it takes her several hours to complete one. She spent about 30 hours a week to prepare a large enough inventory for the crafts show.
The process begins before she begins putting her assembled pieces together. She spends time considering factors such as what the wreath is for, where it will go and what color scheme she will use, and then moves on to what materials she will need.
“It just depends on what you want,” she said.
She said she enjoyed one of her first forays into crafts shows, and said she thinks she’ll continue attending them, joking that her husband said it’s a way for her to pay for her hobby. She enjoyed meeting the other vendors, and noticed that veterans of the marketplace had developed camaraderie over the years.
The marketplace acts as a charity fundraiser for the junior woman’s club. Coordinator Angie Sutton-Kiser said the weekend was successful, with some vendors completely selling out of their wares on Saturday.
The club had been able to distribute $3,500 in donations last year. SpringHaven Domestic Violence Program and Warm Blessings are some of the organizations that benefit from the marketplace.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747.