Salem Civic Center connects shoppers with over 100 area vendors at Mistletoe Market

PHOTOS BY SHAWN NOWLIN
Author M.R. Hooley signing a purchased book for attendee Stephanie Shepherd.

Around 8:45 in the morning, upon arriving at the Salem Civic Center, author M.R. Hooley had a good feeling that he was going to have a productive day.

The small indie publisher is always looking for new venues to get his books out, which was why he paid to be a vendor at the Mistletoe Market on Saturday, December 15. Th e purpose of the annual event is to provide toys and holiday food staples to the less fortunate in addition to connecting unique area artisans with local shoppers for the holidays. “My wife and I are fairly new to the area.

We just recently learned of the Mistletoe Market and were eager to give it a try,” Hooley said. “We could not have been happier with how the day went. We sold a lot of books, despite the weather not being optimal.” Over 100 artisans, local businesses, vendors and crafters showed up this year.

Roanoke County resident Barbara Robinson said that she was eager to meet as many vendors as possible because “you should always gather as much information as you can before making a fi nal purchase.” Candace Rippey saw a social media ad about the Mistletoe Market and immediately inquired on what needed to be done to become a vendor. “I had a wonderful time. I enjoyed meeting people in the area and making new connections in the community with customers,” Rippey, an independent Senegence makeup and skincare distributor, said. “I personally like the venue of the event. For me, it is much diff erent from other events I’ve attended.”

Morgan McAfee’s introduction to the Mistletoe Market wasn’t planned. It just sort of happened in 2015 when her friend Melissa brought it to her attention. She has been a regular participant ever since. “From day one, I have had a great experience, meeting new vendors and seeing old ones that I had networked with before,” McAfee, owner of Eklectically Urs, said.

“My sales went really well this year, and everyone was in a cheerful Christmas spirit.” Helyn Stowe makes all natural dog products as well as custommade leashes and collars. She describes the Mistletoe Market as “an event for area vendors to showcase their unique items for shoppers to purchase during the holiday season.” When Lisa English initially heard about the Mistletoe Market, she thought it was an event for couples. After experiencing it, she instantly became a huge supporter. “It turns out that you don’t need a signifi cant other to appreciate this event,” said English with a smile. “Normally, I don’t like to stand on my feet for more than two hours, but that’s not the case here. Th e Mistletoe Market off ers something unique for everyone.” After moving to Salem in 2011, Kendall Styles says it only took a few months to make new friends and ingratiate herself with area business owners. Attending events like the Mistletoe Market helped make that possible. Th e mother of three encourages everyone to attend the annual event at least once.

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