First Carter House Craft Market proves to be a great success despite the threat of rain

Leatherworker Steph Desjardins displays one of his custom designed belts during the first ever Carter House Craft Market. Judging from the success, it likely will come again. photo by Michael Erskine

KAGAWONG – Nineteen vendors took the opportunity to display their handicrafts during a weekend-long craft market held at the Carter House in Kagawong. With leathercraft, foodstuffs, bedding, paintings, clothing and infusions, the selections available were perfect for any Christmas list (yes, it’s time to start thinking about it at least).

“I am so pleased,” said organizer Kelly Thibault. “I called everyone yesterday because the weather wasn’t looking so good, but everyone said they were still coming. You can’t get better than that.”

She had set something similar up a few years ago at her home on White’s Point Road outside Little Current on a small scale when she moved back to the Island and was astonished at the number of people who came to that location “off the beaten path.”

“So I decided to try something here,” she said. “I have the perfect venue here.”

A steady, socially-distanced crowd could be seen moving through the well-spread out booths, many leaving with arms well laden—such as young Olivia and her mother Heather Gore. “It’s been great,” said Ms. Gore. “There is a lot of neat stuff,” agreed Olivia, as they hauled their recent purchases to their car.

All-in-all, the Carter House Craft Market was a great complement to the very successful Kagawong Farmers’ Market held down by the waterfront each summer.

The vendors noted that the last couple of years, challenged as they have been by COVID restrictions impact on gatherings and events, have proven to be pretty good generally.

“I do some online stuff and I have things in various stores around, so that helps a lot,” said Steph Desjardins, whose Crow Leather offers up hand-crafted custom belts and wallets. He sticks close to home mostly these days, but since he lives in Kagawong that hasn’t proven too much of a hardship.

Next door, Uncle B is selling a collection of chillies, pickles and preserves. His Sandfield-based business, Uncle B’s Chilies and Etc., was doing a brisk business as well. He agreed that although the pandemic has put the breaks on many events, this past summer has proven to be one of his best.

Gauging by the success of this event, the Carter House Craft Market will soon become a regular feature of life on Manitoulin, and we will be all the better for it.