Shepherd Arts and Crafts Show becomes biggest show ever

The Shepherd Arts and Crafts Show was one of the first shows Mary Moeggenborg and her family did for their homemade products.

They are still coming back to sell their homemade fudges, trail mixes and candles after they came to the show when it started 11 years ago.

“This is the best show we’ve ever worked,” she said. “We love Shepherd and they’ve been really good to us.”

The show took place inside of the gyms of Shepherd High School, located at 100 East Hall St., between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Hundreds of people from across the Central Michigan area filled the both the regular and auxiliary gyms inside of the high school to look for locally handcrafted and homemade items, including fudges, blankets and candles, among other things. Food and around 50 to 60 prizes were given to the attendees according to organizers and Shepherd High’s Business Professionals of America Advisors Lisa Antcliff and Jeanine Bellinger.

There were around 100 vendors at the show, making it the largest craft show the school has ever seen, according to Antcliff. The group uses what Antcliff called a “database of vendors” from the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival to bring a wide variety of items to the attendees.

This year was the first time that the auxiliary gym was used to accommodate all the vendors, according to Antcliff.

“We actually had to turn some vendors away because we couldn’t fit everybody in here,” she said.

The event is a yearly benefit for Shepherd High’s Business Professionals of America student group. The group is a career and technical student organization that support students seeking careers in finance, business management and information technology, among other fields.

“The money that comes in today will help benefit their trip to the Business Professionals of America State Championship in Grand Rapids,” Antcliff said. “It will also help with the trip to the national conference, which is in Anaheim, California, if there are students that qualify.”

The students in the group help put the event together, from helping to hand out prizes to helping the vendors set up their booths to collecting donations for their BPA organization.

“The kids are really the backbone of the event,” Antcliff said. “They have the incentive of raising money for their group and they earn an hourly wage to use for that conference in Grand Rapids.”

Over the 11 years, the show has raised around $30,000 to $35,000, Antcliff and Bellinger said. This year, they are expecting to earn around $5,000, since it’s the biggest show yet.

The show was free, but they did ask for donations at the door. This is because they still want people to not be dissuaded by an entry fee and to allow vendors to have a good number of potential customers, according to Antcliff.

The event was planned for over the summer and the fall, according to Bellinger and Antcliff.

“We started calling people around that time,” Antcliff said. “This event takes a lot of planning due to how big it can get.”

Many of the attendees came to the event to find gifts for the season or just shop for some locally made items, Antcliff said. For some it was supporting their families.

“Our Aunt has a booth here and we’re here to support her,” said attendee Elaina Barton. “There’s a nice variety here and I would consider coming back.”