Martin Avenue and Hickory Road were abuzz as vendors lined the streets for the H-F Artisan Street Fair on June 2 and 3. Ninety-one vendors were in attendance and about 5,000 people attended the festival and enjoyed shopping, food trucks and live music from local bands.
Many attendees enjoyed the fair in years prior and returned to see what this year’s fair had to offer.
Hazel Crest resident Regina Rivers attends the artisan fair every year to see the new vendor additions. Rivers especially enjoys shopping with a variety of jewelry vendors.
“It’s always something new and it’s always something that I’ve been coming to and buying stuff every year,” Rivers said.
Alice Davis is a longtime resident of Homewood and has been to the artisan fair several times over the years. Davis supported candle, plant and food vendors at this year’s fair.
“It’s been great. I think it really shows Homewood as such a great community,” Davis said. “You see everyone out here and it just makes you feel good.”
Similar to attendees, there were several returning vendors at the fair, including Sunny Day Clay attending for the third year. Sunny Day Clay has been in business since 2020. Owner Sara Faso handcrafts polymer clay rings, earrings and barrettes. During her time as a vendor, Faso has built rapport with customers at the fair.
“[My favorite part is] having people come back wearing the things that they bought last year and reconnecting with old customers and meeting new people,” Faso said.
Iya Natural was a first-time vendor at the fair. It is a plant-based skincare company that specializes in handmade soaps, body butter and scrubs. Owner Breigha Adeyemo was able to interact with customers as well as other vendors.
“[In] the H-F community — you just have really nice people. Everyone’s warm and welcoming and they really just showed up and just showed support I think for a lot of the local businesses,” Adeyemo said.
Another highlight of this year’s artisan fair was the annual Homewood Business Association Art in Bloom fundraiser. This year, the HBA held a silent auction that featured 30 original flower pots designed by local businesses. The proceeds from the fundraiser benefited Open Access as it raised funds for the annual Thanksgiving feeding.
The HBA raised over $4,585 dollars. Of that, $3,209 went to Open Access.
At the HBA meeting June 6, Open Access Program Director Nick Koster said 96 bidders made 187 bids. As the final minutes of the auction ticked away, bidders were at the HBA booth trying to outbid each other, he said.
“Everyone had a really fun time with it,” he said. “They really were works of art.”
He said the agency typically spends about $25 per Thanksgiving meal, in addition to the food donated by the community.
Kosher said “129 families are going to get a wonderful Thanksgiving” as a result of the auction.
HBA director and Loulou Belle co-owner, Lisa Komorowski was pleased with the community’s support of the fair and the HBA fundraiser.
“Like, it’s people in our community that need stuff, and to see these people in our community are so generous and kind it’s just a nice thing to see,” Komorowski said.