Wellesley Craft Fair Showcases Community’s Creative Talents

holiday shoppers enjoyed hand made crafts at the annual community craft fair.
December 11, 2018

Peg Sawyer, a trainer at the Wellesley Centers for Women, enjoys walks in the forest near family-owned property in Maine. During one outing two years ago, she noticed patches of birch bark layered on the forest floor. They gave her an idea: birch boxes.

“I thought of how neat it would be to reuse the bark by creating small containers, flower pots, and planters,” said Sawyer, as she stood beside a table of her birch-bark creations at a community craft fair at Tishman Commons on December 7, where a steady flow of visitors browsed and shopped. “They are simple, functional items, and people really like them.”

About 20 vendors, most of them members of Wellesley’s staff, not only sold their handcrafted items at the fair but also had the opportunity to share the talents they don’t often get to show off during their everyday jobs at Wellesley.

Paris Mansoor, an assistant registrar at Wellesley and organizer of the fair, said the Community Connections Committee developed the idea for the event. “We have very talented people who have a number of hobbies and interests that are otherwise not a part of their jobs,” she said.

Martha Robbins, a buyer and stock manager at the Science Center, took up painting as a hobby three years ago. She stood next to colorful images of Wellesley’s landscape and the lanterns that line the roadways.

“This is my creative side, something I nurtured since I tried my hand at painting,” said Robbins. “I never thought about displaying my work publicly, but I saw the email about this fair, so I thought I’d give it a shot. To sell anything is great, and I’ve sold two pieces so I feel pretty good.”

Audrey Wood, a former financial manager of the Wellesley alumnae office, was selling homemade chocolate, a hobby she started 25 years ago. Her confections came in several seasonal shapes: toy soldiers, Christmas trees, and St. Nicholas. “I had an uncle who made creations from chocolate, so I learned it from him,” said Wood. “It helps that I love chocolate!”

LaShawnda Lindsay-Dennis, a scientific researcher at the Wellesley Centers for Women, displayed a self-published coloring book titled Ebony Essence, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Lindsay-Dennis, who recently received funding for a pilot project called Black Girls Create (BGC), said many of her crafting projects are inspired by African themes.

“My crafts are reflective of my work here at Wellesley,” she said. “I typically attend vending events and crafts shows in Boston. I’m glad to have the opportunity to display and sell my goods here.”