while the majority of crafting events have been focused up in Salt
Lake City as of late, people tend to forget that down in the Utah
County area there's one major craft event that has become so big, it
requires its own major destination to take up residence as well as an
entire weekend just to give everyone a chance to see it. No boasting,
it takes up four days!
Beehive Bazaar will invade and set up shop at Thanksgiving Point starting tomorrow. Bringing in an array of local artists and crafting
experts to showcase their works and sell all they can before Saturday
night. I got a chance to chat with the three minds behind the Bazaar,
husband and wife Molly and Duane Call, and Noelle Olpin, talking
about the history of the event and its changes over the past few
years, what they've got going on for the one this week, and their
thoughts on local crafts and arts. All with several samples of what you can expect to find this weekend.
Molly Call, Noelle
Olpin & Duane Call
Hey guys! First off, tell us a bit about yourselves.
We're Molly Call, Duane Call and Noelle Olpin and we've been friends
for more than fifteen years and operating the Bazaar for more than six years
with the help of many friends and family members. Duane and I live in
Provo with our four daughters and Noelle and her husband Steve live in
Springville with their two boys and two girls.
How did you first take an interest in artwork and crafts?
It's been a life long interest that's just grown over the years. We
used to do them just to decorate our own homes or to give to friends
as gifts, then we started hosting little shows at our homes that were
attend by family and friends and gradually season by season the show
grew larger and larger. We moved it from our small home to a larger
home of Duane's parents, then to the Covey Center, then to the
Women's Center and now to Thanksgiving Point.
What were some of your early designs like and how was it for you
perfecting your skills?
We've all done a variety of arts and crafts over the years, Duane
and I have enjoyed painting together and have had several shows over
the years, Duane also writes music and plays in bands. Noelle can do
anything, but she's really honed her craft as a
seamstress--especially her hand bags and aprons. Some of the crafts
have been a little off the wall like baby faces, rickrack and glitter
all glued to plates and others have been downright sensible like
bedside magazine holders made from vintage fabrics. We just keep
experimenting and coming out with new things every year--we get bored
easy and like to keep things fresh.
Molly, how did you, Stephanie Higginbotham and Noelle Olpin all meet
Steph and I met in Provo sixteen years ago when just after we had
both just gotten married. We only lived a block from each other and
when we met at church we immediately took a liking to each other. A
few years later we started a book group and Steph invited
Noelle--we've been inseparable ever since.
Where did the idea to start up the Bazaar come from?
The first year Duane and I got married we hosted a holiday boutique
in our apartment along with a friend of ours. We cleared out all of
the furniture, decorated it up and then waited for the crowds--no one
showed. Year after year we kept pulling together little shows until
finally we decided to get organized, gave the event a name and next
thing you know the The Beehive Bazaar was born.
The first one you held was in 2004. What was the first one like for
everyone, and did you know right away you'd be back again?
It's always been fun and it's always been allot of work and we've
always anticipated the next one as soon as a show was finished
Duane, how did you officially become involved with the event?
I've been involved in the back ground since the beginning and more
so every year and the show has grown. When Stephanie decided to
dedicate herself to growing her cupcake business I stepped in a a
full time partner.
For those unfamiliar with the way the Bazaar works, tell us how the
Each year we invite artists and crafters the opportunity to submit
applications for the show. We receive hundreds of applications each
season but only choose about fifty people to participate each year. We
select according to originality, quality and what we think is just
Why did you choose the Women’s Council Cultural Center for the
second location, and what made you decide to switch it to a bi-yearly
The Women's Center was a natural--not only was it the right size in
the right location with plenty of parking, but it was a "cultural
center" and that's what we've always been about--building
culture and community.
What eventually persuaded you to move to Thanksgiving Point for its
The first impetus was we just needed more space--our last show at
the Women's Center was a mad house--in a good way, but we knew we had
out grown our britches. We looked everywhere in Provo for some place
that had the right feel, as well as the right size space--not too
large, not too small and not too commercial feeling like a convention
center--yuck. About the same time we were feeling out of luck we got
an email from Thanksgiving Point asking if we could help provide some
insights for a show they wanted to launch--we replied "Let's
partner on the Beehive Bazaar" and they were like "OK, let's
do it", and that was that. We really think it's the perfect
location, it's rustic, large, plenty of parking and right between Salt Lake and Utah valleys so more people ought to easily be
able to attend.
Tell us a bit of what you've got in store for this year's
It'll be the same ol' Bazaar people have grown to love, but shorter
lines and more space. The other thing that will be new is a VIP party
the first night of the show. We've booked one of the most rockin'
bands in Utah: Mad Max & The Wild Ones. We'll have food, shopping
and a few surprises as well.
Going local, what's your take on the local art scene, both good and
The local art scene is amazing--you just have to know where to look.
We like that it's a bit subversive around here so it always feels
Anything you believe could be done to make it bigger or
We always hope the Bazaar will open peoples eyes to the
possibilities of creating and sharing art. We like the idea of
helping build local culture and community--art is a great excuse to
get together and enjoy one another.
Is it sometimes difficult for you to sell your products and crafts
around Utah, or is there a naturally built-in audience for
It's easy--people love good arts and crafts, they always have and
they always will.
What is it like for you working with retailers and businesses around
We're just starting to experiment with making our goods available
out side of the shows--we just did a pilot run with Deseret
Book--we're still curious to see how it'll go.
What's your take on other crafting events like Craft Sabbath and
Craft Lake City, and what they're doing to help promote the
We love them! We consider them almost partners in promoting the
local arts and crafts scene.
What can we expect from all of you and the Bazaar over the rest of
This year we're actually more excited to launch at the new venue
than anything else, it's a big step for us and we hope people love
Aside the obvious, is there anything you'd like to plug or
It's always great to buy local when you can and we hope to see you
all this week!