More than 350 people attended the Lakes-area Women's Expo, hosted at the Richwood Winery in Callaway Thursday, Sep. 17.
The event included more than 40 vendors and promoted women's health, products and services from Detroit Lakes-area businesses in an afternoon and evening session. The two timeslots were needed to accommodate Minnesota health and safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The goal is to get women together and provide them with resources of what we have in the area," said Aimee Issendorf, of Detroit Lakes, the event organizer. "The services that are provided create a fun shopping event and a fun mingling event."
The expo also provided an opportunity for women to listen to live music, network and sample wine from the host winery.
"This is our first year having it out at Richwood Winery," said Issendorf. "It's usually an indoor event, so last year it was at the Kent Freeman Arena because the event has grown so much...but just where everything is at right now with COVID-19, we wanted to make sure to do an outdoor event this year, so we moved it out here."
Music was provided by solo artist Olivia Taylor, of Detroit Lakes, while speakers from Impact, tellpeopletheymatter.com, promoted their inspirational non-fiction work designed to encourage people to tell one another "they matter" in an effort to combat mental health issues and depression before it's too late.
"We just really need people to say that other people matter more," said Jennifer Juni, of Detroit Lakes, founder of Impact Book LLC. "Especially with social media, and the way that everything is today, people don't say it often enough."
Juni said some people are never told how much they matter to another person before, ultimately, they are speaking at a funeral.
"We just assume that those who are closest to us know that we love them, and that they matter," Juni said. "We don't take the time to express that to people."
Juni also said the expo is a chance for her to get their company's message out while operating the business online and out of her home office.
The expo has been held annually for more than a decade and is organized by Leighton Broadcasting.