For the past 28 years, Judy Meixner and Trudy Ferguson have organized the immensely popular Craft and Antique Shows, held twice a year, once in fall and once in the spring, at the Lynden Fair and Events Center.
Known together in business as the Whatcom County Crafters, the two consider themselves a family business.
Their next event is Oct. 17-19 at the fairgrounds in Lynden. Details: lyndencraftantiqueshow.com.
Trudy acknowledges that she is the more introverted of the two, and so Judy opens up about how they came to be so successful.
Question: Where did you grow up, go to school, where do you live now, and how old are you?
Answer: I grew up in Bellingham; graduated from Sehome High in 1972. My husband Tom and I have lived in East Whatcom County for over 30 years, raising our family in the beautiful Nooksack Valley.
Q: What's the history of your events?
A: Twenty-eight years ago Trudy and I became good friends. She was selling antiques at the time and I was a crafter. We started selling in small local Christmas shows.
There was nothing going on in the spring so we decided to rent a small building at the fairgrounds to sell our crafts and antiques with some of our friends.
Vendors heard about our plans and started calling wanting to join us. We had to rent the larger Expo building to accommodate everyone.
We never imagined in the spring of 1987 that we would be organizing shows for the next 28 years!
Q: It's still going strong?
A: The show continued to grow every year. Customers love having all the great local artisans, in a "one-stop market," combining the crafts, art and antiques. We really feel the success of the show is the focus on having handmade crafts with the artists present, and adding antiques, repurposed, upcycled and vintage collectibles.
Q: Where do people come from for your shows?
A: Our customers come from all over the Northwest and lower British Columbia. They know they will find the unique and original treasures for the homes and gardens they love. It is truly a craft & antique "extravaganza" with more than 100 vendors who will inspire you with their creativity and originality. It is a great opportunity to shop for the upcoming holiday seasons, and to treasure hunt.
Q: Are you artsy-crafty?
A: I have always loved making things all my life. "Hand-done" is close to my heart. I love the personal aspect of putting love into something, and getting satisfaction out of creating something, especially a gift or a card.
Q: Do you have antiques in your own home?
A: We enjoy our own antiques handed down from my husband's great grandparents.
Q: What do you enjoy about this event?
A: I love the people, throwing a big party and everyone having a great time! Our goal is to treat people to a "wow" sort of experience, with amazing artistic displays, great food at our café/espresso and live music. I love that you will meet the artists and crafters and have access to them and their work - like an oldfashioned marketplace.
Q: What do you enjoy about living in Whatcom County?
A: I love the outdoors, constantly exploring new trails, parks and markets. I love being outside walking, playing and creating with our grandchildren and discovering the treasures of where we live. I feel privileged to live in such a great community with so many wonderful people that we get to share our life.
Reach Margaret Bikman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2273.