The Beehive Bazaar | Buzz Blog
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The Beehive Bazaar


Now 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!

--- The 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

Gavin: Hey guys! First off, tell us a bit about yourselves.

Molly: 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.

Gavin: How did you first take an interest in artwork and crafts?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: What were some of your early designs like and how was it for you perfecting your skills?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: Molly, how did you, Stephanie Higginbotham and Noelle Olpin all meet each other?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: Where did the idea to start up the Bazaar come from?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: 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?

Noelle: 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 up.

Gavin: Duane, how did you officially become involved with the event?

Duane: 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.

Gavin: For those unfamiliar with the way the Bazaar works, tell us how the event functions.

Molly: 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 to-die-for.

Gavin: 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 event?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: What eventually persuaded you to move to Thanksgiving Point for its current location?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: Tell us a bit of what you've got in store for this year's Bazaar.

Noelle: 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.

Gavin: Going local, what's your take on the local art scene, both good and bad?

Molly: 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 special.

Gavin: Anything you believe could be done to make it bigger or better?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: Is it sometimes difficult for you to sell your products and crafts around Utah, or is there a naturally built-in audience for it?

Noelle: It's easy--people love good arts and crafts, they always have and they always will.

Gavin: What is it like for you working with retailers and businesses around the city?

Molly: 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.

Gavin: What's your take on other crafting events like Craft Sabbath and Craft Lake City, and what they're doing to help promote the artform?

Molly: We love them! We consider them almost partners in promoting the local arts and crafts scene.

Gavin: What can we expect from all of you and the Bazaar over the rest of the year?

Noelle: 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 it.

Gavin: Aside the obvious, is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Molly: It's always great to buy local when you can and we hope to see you all this week!