BENNINGTON — Vine and Branches Gallery at 441 Main St. will have a grand opening Saturday, just in time for Mayfest.
The craft and artisan shop showcases 35 vendors high-quality products ranging from homemade tie-dye clothes and lotion to outdoor Hypertufa arrangements and a table made out of pallets and wine corks. The gallery is owned and operated by Mina Zaffarano, who originally set up shop in Hoosick, N.Y., but had a soft opening in downtown Bennington this week.
The gallery is named after Bible verse John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches." Vendors as far as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire supply the gallery with products. Zaffarano is from Hoosick Falls, makes jewelry herself and has been in the business since 2009.
"I feel like people are looking for someplace to sell their work," she said. "This fits right in. I usually reach out to them [vendors] and find people at craft shows."
Zaffarano is not accepting anymore jewelry makers, unless the material used is "really different," but has plans to expand otherwise.
"I felt like there was a lot of quality work done in the northeast and it was not being seen," she said. "A lot of people are afraid to order online because they can't touch, feel or see it."
She's open to products as long as they're high quality and not competing with neighboring businesses—such as selling baked goods—with Crazy Russian Girls next door, who share an entrance.
There aren't many consumable goods at the gallery, but Zaffarano expects to sell honey and syrup.
Current distributors include Otsdawa Creek Candles, Plymouth Yarn, Kim Burke Photography, Bayside Wood Products, Inc., Tweed River Farm, Rainbow Ray's Jewelry, and many more.
During Mayfest on Saturday, Zaffarano said she will have door prizes, refreshments, specials and hopefully artists for visitors to meet.
Vine and Branches gallery is open 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and until 8 p.m. on Fridays. Visit http://www.facebook.com/TheVineBrancesGallery for more information.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.