Sandy Westover loves crafts, artists, and opportunity. She also loves her hometown of Benton. In recent years, Benton has become something of a tourist destination for shoppers who enjoy “antiquing.” In fact, the newly formed, Fishing Creek Antique Trail, encourages visitors to enjoy nearly thirty shops and four wineries across a 20 mile distance in the greater Benton area. One of the stops on this trail is Sandy Westover’s Crafty Creations.
Ms. Westover recognized the desire for handmade goods as well as the opportunity needed for artists and crafters to get their products in front of an audience. As such, an idea formed in Ms. Westover’s mind. She pictured a unique shop filled with diverse, antiques and hand-made products. The artists and craftspeople would pay rent on space that their items would take up, and that one person would be responsible to manage the day-to-day operations of the store. To see if her idea had merit, Ms. Westover began talking to fellow crafters who immediately saw the value in the proposition. Within a few weeks, Ms. Westover had a list that overflowed with artists and crafters wanting to have space in her shop.
Just a month went by after a meeting with a business consultant from the Wilkes Small Business Development Center before Sandy Westover opened her business, Crafty Creations, to the public.
The Wilkes SBDC is continuing their support of Ms. Westover’s new business venture through assisting the business with a grand opening event. Crafty Creations is a prime example of how one entrepreneur can directly impact, influence, and create new business opportunities for individuals and the community at large. Crafty Creations serves as one-part retail shop and one-part business incubator. Although the business has only been open a few short weeks, the impact on the small community of Benton has been immense. Every week, more crafters and artists are requesting space in the shop, providing longevity to the business and an endless variety to the customers they serve.