Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

June 25, 2014

Craft and Small Business Expo to feature local commodities

Women who balance family, home businesses will showcase work Saturday

If keeping up with four children under the age of 10 wasn’t enough, Nicole Tocco decided in April to add running a graphic design business to her to-do list.

“Luckily for me, my family is super supportive,” she said, noting the help she gets from her husband, sister and in-laws. “It is tricky trying to find what works.”

Tocco has done freelance design work for about seven years, and growing demand from her family and friends prompted her to make the business, Created to Treasure, official this spring. She is planning to switch her work hours from during the day when her children are home to evenings when her husband is off work and can spend time with them. It’s not uncommon for her to be working on her computer from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., when her house is finally free from distractions.

Kokomo’s first Craft and Small Business Expo set for Saturday will give Tocco and 28 other vendors, many of whom also work from home, the chance to showcase the fruits of their work.

“I envision this as my big launch to put my product line out there for the public,” said Tocco, who lives just south of Walton.

The expo will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the UAW Local 1166 hall, 2761 N. 50 East. Small businesses, run by area residents, range from repurposed wood products to organic cleaners, accessories and embroidery pieces. Independent sales representatives from companies like Pampered Chef, 31 and Pure Romance also will be set up at the expo.

“It’s a lot of stay-at-home moms who have started their own craft businesses,” said Amanda Wagaman, one of the organizers behind the Craft and Small Business Expo. “We tried to get a good variety.”

Wagaman, who will be selling Paparazzi Accessories, was prompted to start the expo after she and her friends struggled to find craft shows they enjoyed. The cost to participate was either too high or the shows filled up quickly or there was too much repetition in the types of products available.

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