Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Business

November 6, 2011

Artisans expand store

(Continued)

Almost every vendor at Eileen and Friends, Rhoads said, uses arts and crafts sales to supplement income they receive from full-time jobs.

“They do a lot of shows, and they do well at them,” she said, “but in placing stands, they can pool their resources.”

As vendor Ronda Patton finished arranging a bridal bouquet in her room, she was quick to speak of the importance of diversifying business, even in arts and crafts.

Patton, who opened Queeny’s Wedding Designs, Etc. at the craft mall this year, pairs the business with what she brings in at a cafe she runs in Peru, Grandma Mason’s Restaurant.

“You can’t just have a restaurant,” she said. “You have to be versatile.”

Having a new, larger building than the previous location on Main Street in Peru gives space for two or three more vendors to set up full-room shops on the main level once more renovations finish.

A 5,200-square-foot basement, once restored, could accommodate up to 60 more stands.

Rhoads said she also wants to convert space in the basement, which was previously a game room for the American Legion, into an area for classes in painting, quilting, crocheting, scrapbooking and ceramics.

• Daniel Human is the

Kokomo Tribune business

reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomo

tribune.com.

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