WINONA, Minn. (KTTC)- A push for people to buy locally-made products in Winona is full-steam ahead with the semi-annual Handmade Neighborhood.
As the holiday season approaches, you may choose to buy locally. If you live in Winona, Saturday was a one-stop shop for all the local products you can imagine.
"Handmade Neighborhood is providing an opportunity for local artists and artisans to market their items to Winona," says Kate Newsome, an organizer and participant in Handmade Neighborhood.
Handmade Neighborhood has now brought local artists together seven times, each time getting bigger and bigger, busier and busier.
"The very first was at the Village House Inn in Winona, and there were, I think, 9 to 11 vendors total," explains Newsome. "We thought we would be buying stuff from one another and it turned out to be this huge success and we were really thrilled."
The range of products from Winona artists is significant, from soaps to decorations, to jewelry and knitted socks. And even those socks have a story.
"These are antique knitting machines. World War One-era machines," shares Mary Ochrymowycz, a Winona artisan. "I like to tell people that during the first World War when the soldiers had suffered from trench foot, the Red Cross gave these machines away to people if they would agree to make wool socks and donate them to the troops."
Hundreds walk through the door to take advantage of the local items, which can get tiring.
"Well, everyone needs a nap, and usually everyone is pretty excited," says Newsome. "Everyone we've talked to seems to be pretty happy with how it goes and wants to return most of the time."
It is all to the benefit of local business and the creative gifts Winona residents provide.
This is the last time Homemade Neighborhood gets together this year, but they will be back in the spring with even more gifts to offer.
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