Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

October 28, 2011

Women’s Expo opens doors for weekend full of activities

BRUSHFORK — The 10th Annual Women’s Expo will be returning to the Brushfork National Guard Armory today and Saturday with around 100 exhibitors,   plenty of surprises and prizes for attendees including a costume contest.

Women’s Expo Co-Chair Sharon Boggess said she and other volunteers are excited to be celebrating the expo’s 10 year anniversary.

“It has grown incredibly since the first year,” Boggess said. “To have 10 great years of the expo is all because of community support. The community wants it and needs it. All of our local businesses come out every year and support us. We just want to thank everyone for coming out every year, all of our sponsors and supporters for making the expo such a success.”

Boggess said she enjoys seeing vendors set up and decorate the expo’s theme: “Fall into Christmas.”

“It’s exciting and it’s even more exciting as we see everyone setting up,” Boggess said. “They have great information and provide great services. We filled all of our booths yesterday and are at right around 100 vendors. The expo gives people a heads up on the holidays. I think the best part of the entire thing for me is getting to see how many people come through the doors. Businesses get to see around 5,000 people walk by their booths here. Most businesses don’t get that much traffic in a week. We love being here and promoting our local businesses.”

Boggess said there will be several new features at this year’s expo.

“Chef Rick is new this year and will be providing food,” Boggess said. “We will be serving breakfast having a waffle and omelet bar, so people can wake up and have breakfast with us. We have a new craft vendors section on the second floor where specifically hand-crafters will be selling their wares. We have tons of new activities and entertainment as well. We have several new vendors and of course several vendors that have been with us all ten years.”

Starz Performing Arts Academy is one such new vendor. Starz Choreographer and Competition Dance Director Gabrielle Colombo said they are excited to have a booth at the expo for the first time.

“This is our first year at the expo as an exhibitor, though we have danced here for six or seven years,” Colombo said. “We’re just excited to have a booth. We are at a new location and building our business in a new way. We are looking forward to getting to meet new people and get new clients (dancers). Our kids are looking forward to performing as well.”

Darlene Bowers with Leslie Anne’s Boutique said she is just as excited to be at the expo for the ninth year.

“I love the people and I love working with the expo committee to plan it and everything,” Bowers said. “We always pass out literature on our business. We make the expo fun with special prices and prizes that people look forward to every year. I’ve really cut down my set up time. The first year, it took me eight hours to get ready. This year, it only took me three. I just hope everyone comes out to the expo and has a great time. It’s really a treat to be here.”

Betty Hahn with Kitchen Craft Cookware has also been at the expo for around nine years.

“I love all of the pretty scenery in this area in the fall and all of the people who come here,” Hahn said. “The people here are real folks and are always just good people. I think this is a wonderful expo and it’s great that it has been around so long.”

Elaine Jessee with Brown Sack Creations has been at the expo for two years, and said she enjoys getting to expose her business to new people.

“I love meeting all kinds of people from different areas, not just in Mercer County,” Jessee said. “Set up has been easy this year. The guys from Appalachian Teen Challenge have been so helpful. They’ve done all of our heavy lifting for us.”

Deb Rebuck with Brown Sack Creations said she looks forward to meeting new people at the expo as well.

“We just like to meet new people and talk to them,” Rebuck said.

“We also enjoy getting to see the other booths and meeting with the other exhibitors. A lot of people come here.”

Today’s events will include the Princeton Community Hospital Corporate Luncheon, a demonstration by the Princeton Health and Fitness Center, and performances by the Glenwood Wildcat Band, Straley Elementary students, and Starz School of Dance.

The nearly 100 exhibitors present will be showcasing everything from jewelry and cosmetics to cookware, arts and crafts, floral displays, medical and health services, banking, education, charities, business and more.

The Women’s Expo will begin at 9 a.m. today and last until 9 p.m. today and then continue Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.

— Contact Kate Coil at

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