KALISPELL - Art shows and Christmas bazaars are abundant this time of year and offer the opportunity to purchase unique gifts for loved ones.
But why should you shop at these events rather than purchasing cheaper goods from box stores?
“Supporting local people is probably all what it's about. I mean, everything here is handmade. It's made locally. And I think that, you know, people need to support the local businesses, the small businesses. The big box stores, I'm sure have stuff that's probably cheaper, but it's not handmade. So I think and I just kind of live in by Montana rules. You know, let's make it and put it out there." said Mimi O'Neill of Moo'n Photography.
The Artists and Craftsmen of the Flathead (ACF) is a non-profit organization that helps local artists grow their small businesses and put on craft shows throughout the year.
The ACF also supports schools, provides scholarships and helps other organizations with some of the funds they raise.
“So it's not just about us building our business. It's also about helping the community," said Lynn Krutzler, Sew Faithful.
While the ACF works to support the community, they also support artists in their mission to share their work and make sales.
“Really every time I kind of get thrilled about it, and sometimes it's hard to let some of my stuff go because I get kind of attached to it. But it's kind of like just a really compliment and a nice thing to say, wow, I love it and now somebody else loves it," said O'Neill.
As some of the artists said, it’s the Montana way to support local, and these events create a space to do that.
“These are all local people that are trying to do their business and we all need the support of people that come out. We have so many people that are talented in this show that you can't find that kind of stuff in a box store so we really appreciate the business here," said Krutzler.