A row of vendors lined Sea Breeze Park on the Nautical Mile, while visitors strolled through the tents in search of novelty crafts, curiosities, and odds and ends on July 7. The crafts expo is a new event that the Nautical Mile Merchants Association is sponsoring each weekend through Aug. 19.
“The expos are a great, family-friendly event,” said Ivan Sayles, the association’s president. “It adds to the sparkle of the Nautical Mile.”
The expos will take place every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 8 p.m. At the first expo, the NMMA welcomed arts-and-crafts vendors while sponsoring a health and wellness fair that was open to the public. Next week, Shakespeare performances on the pier are scheduled (see box, Page 3).
As people walked along the Nautical Mile on July 7, many said they were surprised by the event. Sohail Nashir, owner of Arabian Scent Castle, was selling oud-based fragrances made from the agar tree. The wood of the agar tree is among the most expensive in the world, Nashir noted, adding that he imports it from the Middle East.
“I admire the natural scent and strong odor,” Nashir said. He sells his fragrances in a variety of bottles. Some are shaped like knives, others like boats.
Assunta Fusco Mintz, founder of TE’P Organics, had dozens of people gathered around her table to inquire about her organic soaps, which were displayed in neat little rows and stacks. Mintz grew up making soaps for cleaning. The soaps she makes now, intended for personal hygiene, are special to her, she explained, because they are pure, with no thickeners, so they’re eco-friendly. Mintz also gives back to the community. She donates 50 cents of every sale to charity, she said, and she packs up her goods in bags made of recycled magazines and newspapers.
At the expo, many others got temporary henna tattoos, while others browsed through the Swarov-ski crystals on display at the Bohemia Gifts and Crystals booth, operated by Paula Carey.
“I decided to be a vendor at the expo because of the nice atmosphere,” Carey said, noting that the Nautical Mile attracts people from around the world.