EASLEY — More than 140 vendors turned out for Fall for the Arts in downtown Easley on Oct. 1, a record number for the event held annually in downtown Easley.
Homemade jams, lotions, soaps and jewelry were the usual staples of the market combined with cakes, breads and pumpkin painting. Some of the more unusual wares of the day included fish and crabs made out of flattened bottle caps and hand sewed neckties designed for dogs.
At the Herb & Earth tent, owner Toya O’Shields Stanitzek had a few friends buzzing around.
“Yeah, the bees always find my set-up,” she said and laughed. “It’s all the herbs and oils and bees wax in my products. Everything is natural and the smell always attracts them.”
She wasn’t kidding: There were honeybees flying all around her booth.
“I’ve only ever been stung once though — and it was because I sat on him,” she said and laughed. “You can hardly blame him for that.”
Just a few tents down, Rose and Mitch Schecter didn’t have to worry about the bees, and attracted plenty of lookers with their unique designs of sea-life constructed from bottle caps.
“We started Bottlecap Rose because I was at a show and I saw this fish made out of caps,” said Rose. “I really liked it, but then I flipped the price tag over and gasped. They wanted $700 for it! So I went home and made my own. Then, I just kept on making them.”
Rose and her husband said they get their bottle caps from all over the place and use other recycled materials in their pieces. Besides fish, crabs and the occasional turtle, the Schecters also take requests for custom orders.
“I’ve done roosters and lizards — you name it,” said Rose. “But I like the fish because the caps look like scales to me.”
Fall for the Arts traditionally caps the season as the last Farmer’s Market Saturday for Easley, but director Lisa Chapman is already looking forward to next year.
“A big thank you to everyone that has made this season of the Easley Farmers Market a big success,” Chapman stated. “Robin Stewart Willis and Paula Herron Rowland — I could not run this market without you.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for getting up early on Saturday and spending the morning at the market. To all our farmers, I hope next year’s growing season is better — I know you all have had a tough time this year.
“To all the crafters, bakers, beekeepers, soap makers, candle makers, potters and anyone else that I have forgotten, thank you for adding value to our market.”
The Easley Farmer’s Market will return opening day for the 2017 season on April 1.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.