Red Deer business owner and mom Corina Whitehead started out making pretty items for her own children.
They were so popular with her friends and family that soon she decided to begin selling some things.
A little over three years ago Whitehead and her business partner and co-creator Jenn Craig started Ma la mode. The two women specialize in boutique-style clothing for newborns to children who are up to six years old.
They were one of the more than 220 exhibitors at the eighth annual Our Best to You Art and Craft Sale held at Westerner Park this past weekend.
Whitehead and Craig were surrounded by their colourful little dresses, some looking like miniature patchwork quilts, diaper bags, fuzzy booties and puffy hats. They have recently started making some hoodies and booties out of recycled material as an environmentally friendly option.
Besides the most recent craft show they also go to the Red Deer Public Market and showcase their items on Facebook under group Ma la mode, where people can check out photos of their most recent creations. Whitehead said her children get the first run of everything. “They test it out for us,” she said.
At certain times of the year as they stock up for a show like this past weekend she will have many projects on the go at once.
“I think for me it’s fun to create things and see what they look like when we’re done. And also — because I’m a stay-at-home mom — it’s just a little bit of ‘me time’ where I can get away and sew and make my husband take care of the kids for a while,” Whitehead joked.
Whitehead said some small items take 20 minutes to make, with dresses taking a few hours.
Kim Teigen, one of the Our Best to You show organizers, said the event had everything from blown glass to pottery, jewelry, unique teas and handmade wool items, with something for everybody. She said in past years they have had as many as 15,000 people through the show during the weekend. Although a final tally wasn’t in yet available on Sunday she expected they would beat previous years’ numbers. She said Red Deer has been very receptive and the exhibitors are really happy.
For Anne Maier, creator of stained glass pieces as part of her Images in Glass business, coming to Red Deer is like a reunion. She and her husband Cal Maier lived in Red Deer for 20 years before moving to Kelowna around 14 years ago. Anne worked at the Royal Bank in Red Deer and Cal owned a music store. Now Anne does her stained glass and Cal creates acoustic guitars from scratch, when he isn’t helping her at shows.
“It’s fun doing these shows and it’s especially fun coming to Red Deer because it’s like old home week for us,” Anne said. Her booth showcased fanciful butterflies and whimsical dragonflies and many other items, with crystals and beads incorporated into some of them.
Anne has been doing stained glass for 17 or 18 years and makes new original patterns each year, but her dragonflies are particularly popular.