Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

May 9, 2013

Voilà! Arrives for crafts in park

New antique shop making debut at Crafts in the Park

By Judy Wakefield
jwakefield@andovertownsman.com

---- — “Voilà!,” Michele Bourgeau Lea says as she slips a business card bearing the same French word to a visitor.

It’s as much to call attention to the creative collection in her new shop as it is to emphasize its name — Voilà, Artisanal Marché.

Bourgeau Lea’s antique and vintage shop is just getting settled into its second-floor space at 68 Park St., in what’s called the Mercantile building. And she doesn’t want to waste any time introducing herself.

The Andover resident will have a rookie booth at the town’s popular Crafts in the Park event on Saturday, May 11.

“I’m just thrilled to be here,” said Bourgeau Lea, who officially opened her store on May 1. “This is just a great space for me.”

A newly remarried mother of four, Bourgeau Lea is an avid antique collector who truly enjoys restoring antiques. Her shop is filled with vintage items that she has meticulously transformed to suit the more modern home decor of today.

She’ll be selling a collection of her hand-painted furniture as one of the 100 vendors who will fill The Park for the 38th annual Crafts in The Park show.

The juried fair is always held the Saturday before Mother’s Day and gives shoppers plenty of unique gift ideas to choose from to please the leading ladies in their lives. Among the selections will be photographs, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, clothing and more.

In addition to Bourgeau Lea, other Andover vendors will be Wilawann Claiyarat, Claudia Columbo, Pam Cousins, Lauri Cox Schreiber, Elke Crawford, Dee Dourcy, Jennifer Hickman, Nicole Lang, Martha Totten, Brenda Leyne and Yolanda Mendez.

In addition to the crafters, there will be food vendors and the Mill City Jazz Band will provide musical entertainment.

For years, Andover Field Services, which organizes study abroad programs, has benefited from being the sponsor of Crafts in the Park. But the organization has handed off sponsorship to Christ Church Andover this year.

“They are helping us to transition the event — hopefully a seamless one — and have been just great to us,” Karen Herman, event coordinator, said.

Herman said proceeds from Crafts in the Park will be used to support outreach programs and organizations in the local community, including Habitat for Humanity, Esperanza Academy, Bread and Roses, Neighbors in Need, Lazarus House and the Merrimack Valley Project.

The Episcopal church also sponsors its Children’s Center preschool program and the Andover Thrift Shop, and provides a diverse and enriching music program with scheduled events open to the public, she said.

If you go What: Crafts in the Park When: Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; rain or shine Where: The Park, Chestnut and Bartlet streets How: Free admission. Visit www.craftsinthepark.com.