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P.E.I. entrepreneurs look to make their mark at Spring Craft Fair

Mary Mekhael of Charlottetown displays a sample of what she will sell at the Spring Craft Fair this weekend in Summerside.
Mary Mekhael of Charlottetown displays a sample of what she will sell at the Spring Craft Fair this weekend in Summerside.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Craftmakers from across the Maritimes will be gathering in Summerside on April 22 to show their wares and expand their business.

Joanne and Louie Myers, the duo behind the event, have been organizing four fairs a year since 2014. The event will feature many Island businesses, as well as vendors from both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Mary Mekhael, who runs a sewing business called Seams, is one of the Island-based vendors who will be attending the event. She works as a computer programmer when she is not selling hand-sewn crafts and started her small business as a hobby.

She is really hoping the event will help her get her name out there.

 “My heart is split in two,” she explains, “I love computer programming, but I love sewing.

“I started sewing after the birth of my daughter. I just really like the idea of sewing dresses and things for her.”

Mekhael says she was urged to sell her crafts by friends.

“They told me I should go to craft shows, so I looked some up and applied,” she says.

“I originally wanted to give my crafts to an orphanage, but I discovered there is no orphanage on P.E.I.”

She says she still likes to donate her creations, but has some difficulty as some places like the Salvation Army, for example, prefer to take bulk donations.

She says that she would not be able to keep Seams going without her family.

“Behind every successful person is a successful husband,” she explains, saying that he helps with much of the administration for Seams.

“And of course, my two children. When I make something, they tell me ‘mommy, you did a good job.’ ”

Right now, she has a warehouse where she keeps what she makes, but her goal, especially if things go well this weekend, is to someday open a small shop.

“Something that is just open on weekends,” she says, adding she does not want to give up programming. “Maybe it’s something I can do in my retirement.”

At a glance

What: Spring Craft Fair

When: Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Credit Union Place in Summerside

Who: 55 vendors are scheduled to attend.

Admission: $2

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