ST. GEORGE — Featuring an eclectic mix of locally made handcrafted items and benefitting the Assistance League of Southern Utah, a new “pop-up market” will unfurl its tents Oct. 24 at Town Square Park.
While event organizers say they still have openings for additional vendors, one longtime St. George resident who has already committed to the event said he is excited for another opportunity to continue giving back to his community.
In times of challenge, an old adage applies: Don’t wish for what you don’t have, and be thankful for what you do have. St. George resident Lane Smith embodies that philosophy more than most.
After a rewarding 27 year career as a radio and television advertising executive, Smith now faces one of the most challenging times anyone could have: cancer. Knowing that his physical time on Earth has limits, Smith is pragmatic about his fate.
“I’m not afraid of living and I’m not afraid of dying.”
To celebrate a life well lived, Smith now pours his energy into a long time hobby creating pressed and stained glass artwork for residential homes and commercial businesses.
Smith’s shop, Fabulous Glassworks, located at 690 N. Industrial Road, also sells supplies to budding glassworks artists, providing them with anything they need to create something worthy of prominence or joy. He also offers free lessons on how to craft these pressed and stained glass masterpieces.
“I’ve been blessed with a great life,” Smith said.
Born and raised in Southern California, Smith said he didn’t have a career direction of choice when he was in high school, but this would change over time.
After graduation, his family moved to Texas, where he went into the jewelry business as a diamond salesman before embarking upon a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Returning home to Texas, Smith was drafted into the United States Air Force to serve his country during the Vietnam War.
He would later move to Utah, and his life took another 180-degree turn more than 20 years ago when he opened the first in a string of low-cost funeral homes after the death of his stepfather.
At the time, Smith lived in Salt Lake City, and his stepfather was in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“Although we had a funeral for him in Arizona we had to send him to Southern California for burial,” Smith said. “I called a funeral home, and all they had to do was pick him up, take him to the church and then the cemetery. The first quote was $4,700. All they had to do was transport for one day, and that amount of money was just crazy.”
Smith said it was a “real head turner” when he told his wife he was going to start a funeral home, but that is exactly what he did, focusing on helping families whose loved ones died in hospice care.
As part of his commitment to these families, Smith also served 10 years on the governing board for the Utah Hospice Organization.
“People say to me that must have been the most depressing thing ever, but it was anything but depressing,” he said. “It was the most rewarding thing I have ever done because I was able to help people do things they could not do for themselves.”
Approximately six years ago, Smith decided to sell his interest in the funeral business and focus on retirement.
But these plans were about to take a turn as well.
“My wife got tired of me hanging around the house, so I started up a stained glass business which I had done as a hobby for 20 years,” Smith said.
The decision to open the only stained glass store in Southern Utah has served Smith well, with a broad base of loyal local customers, as well as glass aficionados coming from as far away as Tucson, Arizona, to frequent his shop.
Smith will showcase his work at the “upscale pop-up market” Oct. 24 hosted by Indigo Enterprises from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and featuring more than 75 vendors.
Originally the market was scheduled for May; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it needed to be rescheduled. During the October market, COVID-19 protocols will be in place.
The St. George Market is designed to offer residents and visitors a chance to buy everything from jewelry to vintage clothing, paintings to antique signs and more.
As a perk for the children, the St. George Fire Department engine and personnel will be in attendance, and there will be free face painting, free cookies and snacks.
The event will also include prizes from Cliffside Restaurant, Xetava Gardens Cafe, Moss and Timber Indoor Plants & Gifts, The Crepery, Minky Couture, Pizza Factory and Harmons Neighborhood Grocer.
There will also be a drawing for a stay for two at The Advenire Hotel along with dinner at Wood-Ash-Rye.
Event director Indigo Klabanoff said there will be something for everybody.
“There will be so much, including artisans, jewelry, decor and much, much more.”
The proceeds from vendor booth rentals and raffle prizes will go to the nonprofit Assistance League of Southern Utah, which promotes literacy and provides clothing for school-aged children.
“The Assistance League is a phenomenal organization that provides what our kids need the most,” Klabanoff said. “It’s my mission to uplift organizations like this.”
The national nonprofit organization has been in existence for more than 100 years, with the Southern Utah chapter celebrating more than 11 years helping children in need.
Earlier this year the Washington County School District estimated there were from 800 to 1,000 children who are considered “categorically” homeless. Of the 34,000 K-12 students in the district at the time, approximately 9,000 were technically living in poverty.
Along with providing clothes to children, Assistance League volunteers also go into classrooms to read to students leaving behind books for the children to take home after each visit.
For more information on becoming a vendor for the market, click here.
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