Instead of another Sneak Peek for the July Market, I thought I’d take today and write about why I decided to do the Makers and Growers Market and how it came to be!
My husband makes beautiful cedar furniture, and he didn’t believe people would want to buy it. He made us a double patio chair, and then he made our neighbor a set of single chairs for Father’s Day. EVERYONE LOVES THEM… but he still didn’t believe me. I told him that if he made some chairs, I’d sell them and then he’d see.
He dragged his feet. Then our very good friends asked for a set – he eventually made them two chairs. And they loved them so much – and so did their dog – that they decided the dog needed a matching cedar patio dog bed. He made that, too.
Then we got alpacas! And we got alpaca fiber… and I started to make things with the fiber. I started to learn to spin, but it was really hard and I took a break and decided to make dryer balls.
Those were selling like hot cakes with family and friends, and people I didn’t even know on Instagram were even buying them.
I also started making greeting cards with the photos I take here on the homestead. And I started making things with the millions of wine corks I had lying around (mostly donations… I didn’t drink a million bottles of wine, don’t worry!) – like trivets and cork hearts and magnets.
Millions of ideas of things to sell were coming to my mind. And pretty soon we had a little booth of items (mostly in my head because not all of them were actually made).
I have a few friends who are creative – some make jewelry, another crochets and works wonders with flowers, another makes wood signs, and I had a few more people I was going to ask. I started to envision a market on my property… a flea market/farmers market with booths with homemade and homegrown products. I figured it would be three or four of my friends, and we’d have our friends and family come and buy stuff. Kind of a glorified yard sale.
In fact, two neighbors across the street were having their yard sales on April 27th, and we figured that would be a perfect kick off… lots of exposure for all of us.
Everyone I talked to got excited. Pretty soon I had strangers reaching out to me over Facebook asking if they could have a booth. Suddenly, I was hosting an actual market, not just a mini market. Well… it’s still mini, but it’s not just friends, it’s people I don’t know (new friends!) joining all the time. And people from all over coming to shop and get farm tours.
I intended to sort of build community with people I already know… but what I’ve done is grown and built a new community. We know so many more people in town and in our immediate area now. We only moved here to our small town of Stanwood less than four years ago, and even before the market, we’d made some very good friends… but our circle has grown because of the market, and some of our existing friendships have deepened in a such a sweet way.
I’m so grateful for all of you who have reached out to have a booth or who have come to the market to check it out and support local makers and growers, including us. We love our little town, and this has only strengthened that love!
So, no sneak peeks today… but I will say, we Stevenses will have cedar patio furniture, wooden fish, alpaca dryer balls, cork products, homemade play dough, photo greeting cards, and a few other surprises! Maybe I’ll do a sneak peek of our products tomorrow!
If you know someone who might be interested in joining our market this time ( only 4 days left!) or in August or September, please send them my way. My email address is email@example.com or you can find me at Facebook.com/TheStevensHomestead
And don’t forget to come see us at the Makers and Growers Market on Saturday (THIS SATURDAY), July 27th from 9 am to 4 pm at our homestead at 30709-68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292