A handmade variety of airplanes, tanks and doll cradles line the tables of Steven Hardin’s new booth at the Humphrey Antique and Flea Market Mall, 102 W. South Ave.
Woodworking is Hardin’s passion, a hobby he picked up from his grandfather during summer visits and later when he was stationed nearby with the military.
The Stuttgart resident’s crafts depend on his mood, varying between birdhouses and feeders, toys and décor. However, Hardin said eventually it became time to share his hobby with others, which is where the Humphrey mall came in handy.
Hardin is one of 16 booth renters set up in the old Humphrey Elementary School, although there is a capacity for 45 booths. Linda Lyons, who rents the building, opened the mall at the start of August after being given the opportunity to do so.
“When people come in, the first thing they do is start looking around and saying ‘this is so and so’s room’ and reminiscing,” she said. “It makes you feel good that the community likes it.”
It’s a similar feeling for booth renter Betty Dabbs. She moved to Humphrey at age 6 and eventually taught third grade in a classroom just down the hall from where she now has a booth of homemade items including coasters, cloth books, doll diapers and table runners.
“I had to retire from teaching because of medical reasons,” she said. “I didn’t like to just sit and do nothing so I decided to start making things. I had booths at the duck festival … and decided to get a booth here.”
Dabbs hopes to keep the booth supplied with doll quilts and pillow sets, holiday décor items and other toys for children, which are her speciality.
“I like to sew and started taking craft books home to get ideas from,” she said.
Along with the homemade crafts, Lyons said customers would also be able to find a variety of décor, jewelry, furniture such as doors and iceboxes as well as clothing. Vickie Houghton, a Humphrey resident of 40 years, said she is using the opportunity to sale her jewelry, Handmade by Vic’s Visions.
“Years ago, I liked to repair broken jewelry and did it for sisters,” Houghton said. “It was relaxing so I ordered beads and started piecing it together. I sold to family and then decided to branch out.”
Houghton especially enjoys custom orders since she knows the customer will like the piece she makes in natural gemstones, and silver plated spoons. Along with these specialty booths, others like Lessie Howard of Humphrey are teaming up with friends to create booths because it’s “local, its convenient and I love good flea markets and I’ve always wanted my own booth.”
Page 2 of 2 - To visit their booths and more, the Humphrey Antique and Flea Market Mall is open from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.