NEW PALTZ, NY – Entrepreneurship is in the spotlight this week at the Ulster County Fair.
Hurley resident Donna Jean Wamsley uses her space at the New Paltz Fairgrounds to display and sell doll clothes and accessories that she makes under the name Creations by DJ.
“These are 18-inch, 15-and-a-half, and 14-and-a-half-inch clothes for dolls,” she said. “In fact, we also make furniture. We have chairs and beds, and all these little padded chairs are… handmade.
This is the second year that Wamsley, who also sells his designs on Amazon and Etsy, has a booth at the Ulster Fair.
“I used to make sweaters for my kids and started doing it after I retired,” she said. “These are popular with girls, grandmothers, mothers, for holidays and birthdays. I have backpacks and animals, chairs and shoes, and pretty much anything that goes with your doll.
Shane Sala, owner of Highland-based Beezix Candy Co. and premier fair vendor, has a selection of 25 fudge flavors and wants to put her marketing skills to good use.
“I’ve been to festivals, flea markets and small events,” he said. “I was in banking, but sometimes you just have to follow your heart and go out and go on your own. “
Sala said it meant putting her college education to good use.
“I went to school for entrepreneurial studies, so I learned how to do a presentation,” he said. “But it was really about knowing that it was something that I really wanted to do.”
Mary’s Krafty Kreations, based in Montgomery and run by Mary Hill, showcases and sells crochet items, such as lollipop warmers, key chains, and tiny decorative cacti. Hill’s husband Paul said the items are made by his wife, daughter and a cousin, and the fair has allowed them to show off what they’ve been up to for years.
This is the first time that Mary’s Krafty Kreations has been at the Ulster County Fair. “We made most of our sales through Facebook,” said Paul Hill.
“We (Paul and Mary) met 14 years ago,” he said. “At the time, it was doing small farmers’ markets, and over time it grew into a decent-sized small business. “
He said that 2019 “was our best year, 2020 was not good for anyone, and [we] entered 2021 to build inventory and discuss marketing ideas.
The Ulster County Fair runs through Sunday at the County Fairgrounds, 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz. For full show information, visit ulstercountyfair.com.