Creative Chicks bag a stall

TO MARKET, TO MARKET: Diana Cooper of Creative Chicks is getting ready for the Alstonville/Wollongbar Art and Craft Fair.
TO MARKET, TO MARKET: Diana Cooper of Creative Chicks is getting ready for the Alstonville/Wollongbar Art and Craft Fair. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

A HANDBAG that was created with a few pieces of fabric left over from making a quilt has led to a new business venture for Diana Cooper and Merron McEvoy.

The women have started Creative Chicks, which specialises in homemade shoulder bags, totes and purses.

"It all started about 12 months ago," Ms Cooper said.

"I'd just finished making a quilt and I had a few leftover panels of fabric.

"I started experimenting with them and ending up making a handbag.

"Merron saw it and thought it would be a good idea to do more and sell them. We're both into sewing."

At the launch of Creative Chicks the two friends sold more than half of their stock.

It was a nervous time for Ms Cooper and Ms McEvoy, but they are now seeing the business grow, and they will be showing off their wares at the Alstonville/Wollongbar Quota Club's annual Arts and Craft Fair this weekend.

"We weren't sure at first if people would like what we were doing," Ms Cooper said.

"You can't pick what people will like.

"We started out using bright cottons, and now we're also using Japanese fabrics.

"There's a good mixture of designs and colours.

"One of our new designs is two bags with clip-on handles that you can interchange."

The Arts and Craft Fair will be held at the Alstonville Leisure and Entertainment Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

Co-convenor Diane Parker said there would be "many new and creative stalls this year", which are highlighted on the club's Facebook page.

Handmade dresses, paper craft, hand-painted merino shawls and other products will be on show.

But for some, the craft fair offers something different.

"For many locals, a morning tea of homemade goodies or lunch of a barbecued bacon and egg roll has become part of their weekend ritual," Diane said.

"We are confident our supporters enjoy their time at the Quota Fair, as each year we present a slightly different array."

Spot raffles will be held, with prizes of $100 of "money" to spend at the fair.

QUOTA CRAFT FAIR

When: Saturday and Sunday

Where: The Alstonville Leisure and Entertainment Centre, Commercial Rd, Alstonville

What: 70 stalls including art, craft, clothes and lots of other homemade goodies, demonstrations as well as spot raffles



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