Expo spotlights increased interest in building

SCARLET SIMS STAFF PHOTO Tammy Estes and daughter Ashlyn Estes, 13, both of Vilonia, watch as chef DeAndre Stewart shows off Kitchen Craft cookware during the Conway Home and Garden Expo at the fairgrounds Saturday. The event continues noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

People looking to improve their homes and gardens turned out to see the wares of vendors during the second Conway Home and Garden Expo at the fairgrounds Saturday.

 

Contractors and businesses dealing in construction material said more homeowners are looking at renovation projects than in prior years. And, more people are interested in building, adding on or remodeling, they said. Turnout at the expo was up about 50 percent higher than last year, said Anthony Bucci, who owns Stuff Mart USA and is the show organizer.

Venders said they also expect construction to increase this year.

“It’s slowly getting better,” said Bradley Wright, president of LeafGuard of Arkansas.

Two years ago, people weren’t doing construction or renovation projects, Wright said. But business is picking up again, he said.

Things are settling down, said Joel Johnson, president and owner of P.I. Roofing out of North Little Rock.

“I think this year is going to be a better year than last year for construction,” Johnson said.

Wright had talked to about 100 people Saturday afternoon and several of those were interested in gutters, windows or siding, he said.

“The majority of these people have things they are trying to address,” Wright said.

The expo helped Wright reach out to people who are already interested, he said.

Homeowners Chris and Misty Derrick of Conway said they came to the expo looking for ideas. Every year, the couple does something to improve their home, and counter tops are on the list, Chris Derrick said.

More than 20 vendors spread their services and wares on tables or set up displays for people to see. Expo-goers checked out cookware, water restoration services, glass showers and even jewelry.

Contractors, like Kyle Miller, networked Saturday among people looking to build or renovate and businesses looking to sell services, and products. Miller’s specialty is finished carpentry, he said. He moved to Conway from Illinois about five weeks ago and used the expo to network, he said.

Over in the Kitchen Craft Cookware travel-size kitchen, chef DeAndre Stewart showed about eight people what his cookware could do. He started working for Kitchen Craft in January but, like other vendors, Stewart said people are buying.

The whole idea of the expo is to get people who want to improve their homes or gardens together with people who have the material to do it, said Bucci.

Show-goer Shalene Hammons, of Conway, looked at buying a set of cookware. She said she liked the size and feel of the Conway expo more than others she has been to.

“It was small and comfortable,” Hammons said. “It was intimate.”

(Staff writer Scarlet Sims can be reached by email at scarlet.sims@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

BREAKOUT

The Conway Home and Garden Expo is from 12-5 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds.

 

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