To set the stage for you, I first have to say that everyone in the crafting community is genuinely kind. You won't find a single soul who doesn't pour their heart into their craft and vibe of the event. We were fortunate enough to have 11 of these souls on our team last weekend. Add to it unique craft beers, a lively duo of bartenders, and a friendly local crowd. That's Pinelands Crafts and Drafts!
From community protector flags to comic book and pop culture merchandise to custom bar-ware and home décor to handmade soy candles, soaps, and all-natural pain management, our vendors offered something for everyone. What stood out most for me was that Thin Line US exemplified the very essence of small business as Officer Nagy's parents and children proudly wore their team shirts and literally built their display on-site. Reese of Empress Herbal Products not only invited a steady stream of customers to her table with welcoming scents, but her calming and educational dialogue about her craft. The warm energy she had after traveling all the way from Philly was incredibly refreshing. I also fondly recall two young women adorned with flower crowns captivated by August Snow's intricate fairy scenes and Sensations Le Soleil's aromatic soap display. To say I wanted to buy one of everything myself is no exaggeration!
For a little added fun factor we challenged customers to meet our vendors with stamp cards in hand. Those with a full stamp card were entered to win a Pinelands Brewing Company t-shirt and growler with their choice of fill. We excitedly brought in the How You Brewin' cold brew and nitro coffee Jeep (tap handles on the side of a Jeep, you guys!) as well as gourmet hot dogs from PJ Dog House. I'm still salivating.
As the day came to a close, we counted it a success. Our marketing efforts via radio, print, and social media and careful selection of vendors leading up to the event brought 200 new faces in front of our 11 crafters. With three other festivals in the area and the most perfect beach weather, it felt good to be a part of “local summer” before we welcome the chilly fall weather at our next Crafts and Drafts at River Horse Brewing Company.
If you missed the chance to shop with us on Saturday, you can find each of our vendors here: