PALMER — Vendors from all walks of life are selling their wares at Friday Fling each week, showcasing creativity and craftsmanship true to the market’s vision.

“I want to be some place where artists are featured. I like being part of an artists’ community, and I think Palmer has a strong creative community,” Classy Glass Expressions owner Vicki Randolph said.

Randolph set up a booth at the Friday Fling marketplace July 24. It was her first time working as a vendor at the Fling, but she’s no stranger to the market or greater Palmer community. She sets up at annual events like Colony Christmas and the museum’s Garden and Art Fair each year.

“ I love Palmer. Palmer reminds me of the small town I grew up in,” Randolph said. “it’s a true sense of community.”

Randolph said that she only booked three Flings this summer. She said it’s been a fairly good response so far.

“I just wanted to try it, see how the crowd is, see how my stuff is received. Yeah, it’s been going really well,” Randolph said. “I like being able to talk to people. I don’t sell online,”

Classy Glass Expressions has been around for more than 28 years. Randolph said she started out as a stain glass artist and switched to jewelry about 12 years ago. She said that she does special orders on top of setting up at various functions. She said that she’s always been an “artist at heart.”

“People love it. People love what I do,” Randolph said. “I’ve always made things. I’ve always sold things. I love when people’s faces light up when they say, ‘ oh I like this.’ It’s a business, but I don’t treat it like work. If you have a creative side you’ve got to feed that... If you don’t you’ll be hungry.”

Gail Jones is a longtime vendor at Friday Fling. She said that she lives in Willow and she’s been selling nectars and teas in the Valley for many years. Jones’ booth is always under the pavilion at Friday Fling.

“The atmosphere here is great,” Jones said.

Jones said there’s been a ton of locals visiting her booth since the outbreak started affecting Alaska. She also vends at the Wasilla Farmers Market as well as Anchorage.

“I’m very humbled by my local support... it’s helped a lot during this pandemic. It helps to know that,” Jones said. “If we didn’t have locals right now we wouldn’t have business.”

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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