Saturday, July 13, 2024
Highlights 2News

McDowell hosts first in-person Pontiac Artisans Market

Liz Draper
Shawville Nov. 25, 2023
Dr. S. E. McDowell School was host to the first-ever in-person Pontiac Artisans Market on Saturday where 40 vendors had tables set up throughout the gymnasium.
A wide variety of items were available for sale, from handcrafted goods to freeze dried treats, to honey-based products.
Santa was there for those wanting pictures with the man in red. Café 349 was on-site with their goodies and there was a raffle for a basket of items donated by the vendors themselves.
The Pontiac Artisans Market was started online back in 2020 by Farm Fresh Designs founder, Rebecca Corrigan.
“I had seen a lot of markets closing. A lot of my friends are artisans like myself. Everyone had inventory ready and weren’t sure what to do with it, so I posted online that I was interested in having a market and doing it online through Facebook, and immediately there was a good response,” Corrigan said.
Corrigan admitted her first year was a “learning curve” as there were about 35 vendors and no rules. By the second market she and Natasha Beardsley joined forces and implemented rules which made it run smoother.
“We did it online for a few years but really noticed the last few markets that people were looking towards in-person, so for this one we did hybrid, we did half of it online and then the other half here today,” Corrigan said.
While the market was taking place, the McDowell Home and School committee also had their book fair on-site. Normally the book fair is held during parent-teacher interviews but due to the strike days last week, and with dates already booked for the book fair, they needed to re-evaluate how best to proceed.
Market co-organizer, Natasha Beardsley, of Bristol Bee Honey, said, “They’ve done a lot to help us facilitate the location and other things like publicity in terms of drawing in the book fair. Things like that really helped increase the turnout because we got a lot of teacher interaction and a lot more student awareness. To be able to put the two together was really beneficial.”
Beardsley added that there was an extra benefit of doing an in-person market compared to online.
“I love being able to interact with people. I think your most powerful tool is to be able to talk to people in person, let them touch, let them feel, let them see. I love interacting with clients so for me it makes a lot of sense. I always thought from the beginning we should aim to try and get here.”