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Crafty couple offers dressy designs at Harvest Balloon Festival
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Kim Kelley looks at Halloween masks with her 2-year-old son Reeve on Saturday at the BTC Custom Designs vendor booths during the Harvest Balloon Festival at Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch. BTC Custom Designs has been selling dresses for close to two years, but just started selling woodwork less than 10 weeks ago. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Do you have a tiny superhero or princess in your family who needs a costume for Halloween, or an empty wall in your home that needs decorating?

BTC Custom Designs, the husband and wife team of Casey and Nancy Bridges, put their crafty hands to work creating items to sell at events like Saturday’s Harvest Balloon Festival in Flowery Branch’s Sterling on the Lake neighborhood.

“We just fell into it,” Nancy said.

The Braselton couple sets up their two booths next to each other.

“That way if one of us gets swamped, the other can help out,” Nancy said.

Sometimes they enlist the help of Casey’s sister, Susan Riggs, who calls herself their sidekick and helps with purchases.

Under one tent, Nancy sells homemade dresses, onesies, tutus, masks, capes, hair bows and wings, among other items. The dresses are her most time-consuming pieces, which can take her two to six hours to make.

“It depends on the size and the detail in it,” Nancy said. She creates all of the pieces in her home workshop.

Picking out colors, fabrics and possible embroidery options is a game of chance.

“I just use what I have on hand,” Nancy said. “It’s just what you envision it to be.”

Dresses can be used for flower girl dresses, but she also sees people using her designs for costumes as well.

“Halloween is my busiest time of year,” Nancy said.

During the few weeks leading up to Halloween, she will make around 30 to 40 dresses per week to meet the demand. During the rest of year she averages about five dresses a week.

Her dresses sell for anywhere between $30 to $150. Masks sell for $12 and capes for $10, but she offers a set of both for $20 as well. Wings sell for $6.

Under his tent, Casey sells the woodwork signs he makes from all kinds of plywood.

While Nancy has been selling her dresses for close to two years, the couple just started selling the woodworks less than 10 weeks ago.

“We’ve been to about four festivals with the woodwork,” Casey said.

Some of the works have sayings, like “Home Sweet Home” or simply “Family,” while others have decorative initials or Mickey Mouse ears attached to them.

Casey said he uses the percentages from the National Census to determine which letters he makes the most of, which are S, W, R and M.

“Sometimes these (statistics) are hard to find, but Google is your friend,” Casey said.

Signs range from $15 to $40 for customized signs.

Nikki Bowen’s 5-year-old son Caleb Bowen was given a $20 to purchase whatever he wanted at the festival, and his eyes were glued onto a sign made by Casey.

“He had to have it,” Bowen said.

The sign, which is bordered by the phrase “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” featured a football, a baseball and other sporty sketches.

Bowen plans to hang the piece in her son’s room. She also purchased a customized onesie and matching tutu for her 17-month-old daughter Reece for $20.

“You can’t get that set on Etsy for that price,” Bowen said.

The Flowery Branch woman had also bought leggings for her daughter at last year’s festival.

“I had to make sure they were coming back next year,” Bowen said.

Custom designs can be ordered on their Facebook page, facebook.com/mazinkrafts or by calling 770-826-0033.

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