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Home News Focus on Women Trade Show a welcome return to normal for vendors

Focus on Women Trade Show a welcome return to normal for vendors

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Focus on Women Trade Show a welcome return to normal for vendors
Dora Durocher from Beauval sits at her booth full of ribbon skirts at the Focus on Women Trade Show in the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre. -- Marjorie Roden/Daily Herald

With Covid restrictions ending and public gatherings opening back up, Prince Albert organizations are dusting off the proverbial mothballs and bringing their annual events back in full swing.

Such is the case with the Focus on Women Trade Show, being held this weekend in the Prince Albert Exhibition Hall.

“Based on the fact that Covid has been around, and it’s been a couple of years and pretty slow for a lot of people, we are very excited to have all the people walking through the doors here,” said Debra Despins, General Manager of the Prince Albert Exhibition Association.

Those at the Focus on Women’s fair said it was a welcome event to go to, especially those who run small businesses.

“This is what I do full time. I go out and I sell. I travel right across Canada,” said Dora “the Explorer” Durocher from Beauval.

“I’ve been at home for two years, so when my baker friend mentioned this event, I decided to come.”

Although her booth – as well as her online store –  includes a lot of differing items, such as adult beadwork jewelry and screen print t-shirts for children, the main type of item noticeable is her array of ribbon skirts.

“At one time, there was nobody that was making ribbon skirts. I used to tell my friend to make ribbon skirts and she would never do it!” Durocher said, frustrated by the memory, adding, “They’re so easy to make!” 

Durocher keeps her skirts simple, similar to how Brenda at Brenda’s Handmade Treasures does. 

“I specialize in ribbon skirts,” Brenda stated, adding “I custom sew them for people, but I did bring a few that are ready to go!”

The Focus on Women’s fair has more than just ribbon skirts, as there are an array of products and services. If you are exhausted whilst at the fair, the West side of the hall has a booth set up by Lake Country Skin Care Medi Spa, where Desiree Primeau can be hired to give “15, 20 and 30 minute massages at the trade show…it looks like everyone is lining up now!” Primeau chuckled.

“We didn’t expect this many people,” Primeau admitted, adding “Navi is actually the spa owner, and she’s getting a lot of (eyebrow) threading customers lined up to get it done at this trade show.”

The Morley Home Farm booth is being run by David and Karen Morley, where they specialize in unique farm made bath products.

“We use the goat’s milk to make soap, bath bombs, and other bath products,” David said. “We’re in our first year of business, and we’re still growing. Business has been good!”

The milk comes from their Nubian cross goats, as well as a purebred Nubian. The family farm is near Garden River, past the Pulp Mill site.

The fair also has a few non-profit groups doing some fundraising for a variety of causes. One such individual doing fundraising (with her trusty doodle Scooter at her side) is Michelle McKeaveney, on behalf of the River Valley Resilience retreat, a non-profit she started in Saskatchewan with a City of Prince Albert fire fighter.

“It is to create awareness and a safe space for all those who run into dangers to protect communities from scary people, scary things, fires, etc.,” McKeaveney said.

“We realize there isn’t a whole lot of mental health support out there for first responders, veterans, etcetera, where they can actually go and rest, so we’re trying to create a safe space to allow people to just go and sit amongst peers and get some healing.”

The booths described are just a small fraction of those set up at this year’s Focus on Women fair. The fair will be open on Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $2 per day, and everyone who comes in has the opportunity to enter a draw for door prizes, including a Diamond Necklace and Earring set from Bocian Jewelers.