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Autumn Festival Wraps Up



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At the Sioux Falls Convention Center, more than 300 exhibits were on display for the annual Autumn Festival. From quilts to wood crafts, some of the artists behind the crafts are attracting attention from all across the nation.

In the course of just over one year, Dan Vollmer started a business in his garage. But he didn’t know the new talent he discovered would give him so much success.

"We took down our first barn and it was supposed to be our floors. We didn't have enough wood so we had to do something with it," said Barnwood Trays founder, Dan Vollmer.

Out of barns he found on the internet, the former carpenter started making trays, wine racks and tables.

"The barns we have taken down have been piles of wood. The roof has been taken down or they are not functional anymore," said Vollmer.

Now he travels around the area, taking old pieces of history and creating something new.

"We capture the history of the barn, where it was built and how it was used,” said Vollmer.

Others are taking notice. Recently, a magazine read my millions, contacted him. The pictures of Dan's creations made their way to people's mailboxes.

"This little garage operation has become national and now world-wide," said Vollmer.

While some started making their own creations just over a year ago, others have for years.

"They come to my workstation and see what I'm working on. I'm either working on a doll or quilting," said Hidden Talents founder, Mona Rae Cich.

As for Mona Rae Cich, she brings her work station with her wherever she goes. She never knows what ideas will pop up next.

"I don't create anything on paper. It’s all free cut on fabric," said Cich.

But she says majority of her creativity comes at night. That's when she came up with the idea to sew.

"It's been 32 years {since I started sewing,} and I never sewed before that," said Cich.

And though these exhibitors have different creations, their feelings for what they do remain the same.

"It's more than a love, it's a passion," said Cich.
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