Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Bird’s nest necklaces, gel candles, rubber band cell phone cases, pencil grips, headbands, towel rings, hats, scarves, wax candles, paintings and keys for hope are just some of the wares to be found for sale at the 2014 Summerville Family YMCA’s Flowertown Festival.
What makes them unique and downright special, is that their artisans range in age from 9 years old to teenagers.
This year the Flowertown Festival welcomes Blooming Artists – young people who will be able to sell their work alongside professionals.
“We have never catered to youth in 41 years,” said Kim Taylor, Summerville Family YMCA chief operating officer.
“We realized in the last year or two that we’ve had at least one young person be a part of the festival on the full scale [three days] and it’s always a huge challenge for them,” Taylor said. “We thought, ‘What if we offered something for kids on their own?’”
After researching other children’s arts festivals, Taylor said they were sold, and designed the application for Blooming Artists.
Last year’s artist, who was amongst the adult artists, was the Duct Tape Dude, and he sold out day after day, Taylor said. “He was slammed!”
“But we saw there’s a lot of kids out there who are really talented and other festivals cater to kids…”
To qualify, the applicants had to be 8 to 18 years old and live, or have relatives who live, in the tri-county area. They must design and create all of their original works to sell as “cash and carry” items at the show. The artists must also set up and man their own booths although an adult is required to be with them at all times.
The young people are charged a small fee of $25 and they will exhibit and sell for one day only – Saturday – along Main St., near the Farmers’ Market, between West Richardson and W. 2nd South St.
The booths signed on for a few weeks before the festival include:
Dakota Taylor and Sarah Limehouse, of Summerville will offer “The Rubber Band Stand.” At 9 and 10 years old, respectively, they are the youngest Blooming Artists. Their product line includes cell phone cases, pencil grips, headbands, rings, bottomless flip flops, and much more.
Lauren Gergich, of Goose Creek, doesn’t have a name for her booth but at only 14 years of age she’s already taught herself to make Bird’s-Nest necklaces, gel candles and crocheted scarves.
Makenna Young, of Goose Creek, is 12 years of age and will be selling an array of towel rings, knitted pot-holders, blankets, scarves and hats.
Taylor Everard, Nick Himmel, Angus Maclver, Iain Maclver, Taylor Perry, and Hannah Zoller, all of Summerville, make up the “Venturing Crew 314.” Together these teenagers create handmade wax candles in jelly jars with a wide variety of colors and scents.
Cherish Tolbert, of Summerville, age 12, creates works of art using oil paints and knives, acrylic paints and flat brushes, as well as many other brushes and styles to create various levels of texture and definition.
“Keys for Hope” is a group of young creative artisans that feel, “together we are creating hope…one key at a time.”
Clara Pilley, Sophie and Olivia Estoppey (and many more) even have a webpage to explain their passion.
They use their creativity to decorate donated keys and turn them into necklaces, which “…symbolizes home, shelter and hope, to raise money for a local homeless shelter, Crisis Ministries, so they can build a new, clean and more efficient shelter.”
To date they have raised $56,000 by asking only for donations.
Michaela Hogan and Delaney Coldren are friends from Marrington Middle School of the Arts living in Goose Creek and Moncks Corner, respectively.
Together they have eclectic offerings of duct tape wallets and bows, knitted dish cloths, doll clothes, coin purses and friendship bracelets.
In addition to the Blooming Artists, there will be a free Chalk Fest at the tennis courts in Azalea Park. Participants will get a bucket of chalk, a five- by five-foot square and will have from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to complete their artwork.
From 3 to 5 p.m. the artwork will be judged and the winners announced. Winners will receive a bucket full of art supplies. Sponsors include Joann’s Fabrics and Bottles & Brushes.