International Craft Market to be held at area church

Special to The Log
Lillian Goodwyn, a Destin resident, wears a scarf from the Market and holds an angelic nativity wall plaque from Mexico.

The Presbyterian Women of Fort Walton Beach’s First Presbyterian Church will host its 13th SERRV International Craft Market, with handmade items for sale, at 134 Beal Parkway, SW.

The Market will be open to the public at the church in the Fellowship Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 8; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 9, 16, 23; and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 12, 15, 19, and 22.

The group has had a wonderful response from the community to the previous markets with almost all items being sold. This is NOT a fund raiser for the church; any funds left after SERRV has been paid are donated to charities that help others, often internationally. 

For more than 60 years, SERRV has been the direct link between those who attend markets and thousands of poor but highly skilled craftspeople who work with local co-ops around the world to provide for themselves and their families and their communities with the work of their hands.

Those who buy at a SERRV Market will immediately become part of a global partnership to bring justice and hope through their purchases. Customers value traditional artwork over mass-produced goods and appreciate that they promote social and economic progress with their purchase. Products from 26 different countries will be on display at the upcoming Market. Guests appreciate being able to see and examine these beautiful products here at home without needing to travel to where they are created. It has truly been said that the best way to fight poverty in the world is to pay people fairly for their work.

A few of the items available will be some old favorites from previous markets — the Divine chocolates, fairly traded coffee, jams and chutneys from Swaziland, and various kinds of teas. There are many stunning new decorative items, including a wide assortment of baskets, musical instruments, items for Valentine’s Day, bookends, covered containers, games and puzzles, candle holders, vases, wall hangings, wind chimes, coasters, and more. 

There is an incredible array of jewelry items from around the world which are stunning, fun and unique. There are scarves in many different fabrics and colors and designs and this year there will also be men’s ties. There are bags and purses and other fabric items, like our Tree of Life Pillow, which highlight the incredible skill of the artisans who created them.

This year we also have stands to display and protect jewelry and other items. The display of nativities is a little exhibit of the cultures around the world in that they are representative of the cultures that created them and each is beautiful in its own special way. Nepal does wonderful work with paper and their nativity is made from sturdy hand made paper in blue and is decorated ornately with gold.

Attending the SERRV Market at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Walton Beach will be like visiting a museum of native and indigenous crafts. Those who come will have the opportunity to see and appreciate the beautiful handmade items and those who purchase will have the satisfaction of knowing that they helped to alleviate poverty in the world by making a difference in the lives of artisans who are striving to support their families with their creations and are being paid fairly for their efforts.

For more information, call the church at 243-3732 or Carol Davis 243-4777.