Local vendors to showcase wares at Sardis AprilFest
By Myra Bean
The Sardis AprilFest will draw people from various locations Saturday to the Sardis downtown area.
The good thing about festivals like this are the opportunities local vendors are presented to showcase their wares.
One of those vendors is Blings and Things. Frank and Joanne Matthews make jewelry using copper wire covered in gold and silver.
Joanne defers to Frank since he is the actual maker of the pieces, but Frank says Joanne keeps up with the schedule and procures the beads and other things needed to make earrings, necklaces and braces.
They also will monogram and engrave on site, except for bracelets. Those have to be monogrammed before they are put together.
Frank got into the hobby business by accident. His sister, Ruthie Stovall, asked him to laser her initials on her necklace.
The next thing Frank knew, 15 of Ruthie’s friends wanted their initials on their jewelry.
“So my wife and I decided maybe we could do this on the side,” he said.
Frank works for R&S Surgical in Memphis where his main jobs are assembly and laser marking surgical equipment.
They bought the materials needed to make jewelry and Joanne took the finished products to work and sold them.
To help make his business more mobile and current, he had met a lady at a jewelry store who used a parallelograph to engrave. He got one and now he can engrave on site.
He explained that bracelets take 40 minutes to an hour to make and have to be engraved before he puts them together. That’s why he does not engrave bracelets on site, but they can be ordered for delivery afterwards.
His earrings range from $10 to $12 while necklaces are $10 to $18. Bracelets range from $18 to $25. If customers request gold and silver that costs more than $60.
Matthews has customers from Leland, Jackson and even Memphis.
“There are places in Memphis that have called and asked us to bring our product to their flea markets and stuff. That’s really flattering for people to call me from different places like that that I don’t know. It’s really great and we love going and meeting new people,” Matthews said.
The couple will have hundreds of pieces to sell Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.
Also at AprilFest will be the car show put on by Delta Street Rods.