SIDNEY — After 26 years running her annual Angels in the Attic Craft Show, founder Darla Cabe is passing the baton on to a new generation.
She and business partner Leisa Saunders have been talking about handing the show down to crafters Heather Chrisman and Maggie Streb for the last couple of years. Chrisman and Streb have been part of the show for the last nine years, and Cabe said they always showed interest when she mentioned it.
“We are very confident they are going to do great and continue on — and it’s going to be great,” Cabe said.
The show originally began in Cabe’s Victorian-style home on South Ohio Avenue, but moved the Ross Historical Center on North Main Avenue 15 years ago when her home sold. The Ross Center provides a similar Victorian-style atmosphere and much more space. The show has grown to about 20 vendors and has extended to four days open to the public every second week in November.
With her husband Del retiring in 2020, Darla had already planned to end her run as show organizer, but when the couple received the opportunity to participate in a missionary trip to New Zealand with their church, she knew it was time to make the transition.
Chrisman said they are excited to take the reins and looks forward to the show.
“It’s overwhelming to fill Darla and Leisa’s shoes, but we’re excited to continue putting the show on. They’ve been doing the show for so long; I hope that we can continue their legacy and do the show justice. Darla and Leisa have a great reputation with Angels in the Attic,” Chrisman said.
“Knowing I would be leaving in March,” Cabe said, “I would still be here to help walk them through it, answer questions, and to help set up the show. Their first year will be a little more challenging for them until they get the feel of it, but they are smart and capable gals.”
When the Cabes come home from New Zealand, Darla will return as helper and contributor for the show.
“Leisa and I still plan to be a part of the show by including our craft items in the sale, and helping work at the show when it opens and doing a lot of consulting, but are no longer in charge,” Cabe said.
Saunders, who joined Cabe 22 years ago after co-founder Ruth Thompson moved on, agreed it was time for a new generation to take over. She will continue to be involved, but is ready for less stress.
“I have mixed emotions. It’s bittersweet — I will miss it, but wont miss it,” Saunders said. “I love running the cash register, but glad I wont have the stress. There has been a lot of sickness in my family. It’s time to let the new generation take over.”
Angels in the Attic is different than most other craft shows, because crafters don’t set up their own stand or have their own section. The show is run like a boutique. Crafts are spread through out and each craft is tagged and identified individually. Buyers bring their purchase to the cash register to pay.
“The crafters drop off their things and we set it up like a boutique. We set things up where we think they would be best to be displayed,” Cabe said.
When asked if she was looking forward to less work involved with setting up the show, she said that is her favorite part.
“I love setting up the show. That is the most fun part for me,” Cabe said. “I love opening up (the crafters’) boxes; seeing what created. It’s like Christmas to me. Seeing what they brought us that year and setting up the displays. I like the creativity of that. It’s just fun.”
Streb also said she is very excited for another year, especially with some of the “interesting curveballs” of 2020.
“When we heard Darla and Leisa were ready to move on from doing the show after 25 years, Heather and I just knew we wanted to continue the craft show. It’s such a unique show and it feels like a holiday tradition, not only for ourselves as crafters, but in the community to kick start the season as well,” Streb said. “We are grateful to the Ross Historical Center for allowing us to continue on again this year with the show, despite the COVID climate. We look forward to seeing many faces, even if behind masks, at the show this year!”
The 2020 Angels in the Attic craft show will be held Nov. 11-13 from 10 a.m to 8 p.m., and Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Shelby County Historical Society at the Ross Historical Center, 201 N. Main Ave., Sidney. Admission is $2; and complimentary refreshments are available.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.