New business owners hope to help artisans who’ve lost out on craft shows due to COVID

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EDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many local artisans are struggling right now after most summer craft shows were cancelled due to COVID-19. But a new business in The Southtowns is hoping to help.

Nestled between the pub and a hair salon in Eden, is a new shop that’s all about supporting local.

“The shop has handmade one-of-a-kind finds,” Kelly Kreuzer said.

A mother-daughter duo, Pam and Kelly Kreuzer, recently opened up the store on Main Street called The Southtowns Artisan Shop.

“Ever since I was a young age, my mom would take me to craft shows and I would make something and walk around to all the vendors and sell it to them,” Kelly said.

The store offers goods from 18 different vendors, and there is still room to grow. The Kreuzers are artists themselves and said now is the perfect time to open up shop.

“It is really hard because if you paid for a show a lot of them didn’t give you your money back, you had to wait until next year,” Pam Kreuzer said about cancelled craft shows. “So you’re money is tied up. If there is a small show, you don’t always have the funds.”

Melissa Weidner, who was born and raised in Eden, sells her seasonal dolls and decorations at the store. The folk art artist usually opens up her house for a massive craft show every year. She couldn’t do that this year though.

“It’s perfect timing,” Weidner said. “With the holidays coming up, that’s when we sell most of our goods, it’s just wonderful to have a place to sell them, since so many craft shows have been cancelled.”

And the owners of The Savage Homestead feel grateful to sell their homemade soy candles and bath/body items at the store as well. They’re also a mother-daughter owned company. Krista and Janine Savage couldn’t come to opening day at the shop, so Krista’s husband explained how important the space is to them.

“With COVID going on right now, a lot of companies are hurting, so support the local business,” Michael Newton said. “Stop in (and) check out the great products that are here. (There’s) a lot of beautiful artwork, I would definitely recommend just stopping in and saying ‘hi’ and checking everything out.”

There are candles, glass creations, stuffed animals, home décor, lanterns, even crocheted butter lambs you can buy. The Southtowns Artisan Shop is adding a unique shopping experience to a small town, all while helping some struggling locals show off their creative talents.

Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.

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