LOCAL MARKETS: A GREAT WAY TO SHOP
It’s finally time to get out and shop in person after a couple of years of online shopping!
You could make your way to the mall with the usual department and chain stores, or you can try a totally unique shopping experience most people are unaware of.
Local markets and pop-up shops are wonderful, and they're everywhere. Unlike flea markets, which are filled with previously owned, low-cost finds, local vendor markets are comprised of small businesses showing off an endless variety of custom designed, handmade, and carefully curated goods. You can find everything from freshly baked products to handmade jewelry, unusual clothing, and great smelling candles (wink wink) that are not available elsewhere.
These markets are warm, friendly, and vibrant. You often get to meet the business owners themselves and learn about their products and experiences firsthand. You've always wanted to try baking? Who better to get advice from than the entrepreneur baking delicious local bread! Maybe you just love fragrances and could talk about them for hours with someone who shares your passion. These owners absolutely love to talk about their products and their businesses, and it shows.
These owners absolutely love to talk about their products and their businesses, and it shows.
There is a comradery among the different vendors. Many know each other from regularly showing at these markets. Neighbors chat and cover for each other when food or a break is needed. They all enjoy talking to prospective customers and appreciate the support of those who shop local.
We have personally participated in markets at Bell Works in Holmdel, NJ, Asbury Fresh and The Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park, NJ, and Princeton Fall Fest in Princeton, NJ. Each market truly has its own vibe. Bell Works is a wonderful indoor venue in the atrium of a shared space office building which is open, airy, and comfortable, while Asbury Fresh is an outdoor market at a park, held in any weather (it’s amazing how many people come out in the cold and rain!). Princeton Fall Fest has a festive vibe as people come out to shop and eat on a beautiful October day. What all of these market have in common is the many shoppers that come out to support local businesses.
For us small businesses, local markets provide a way for us to interact with the community and customers in a way that is not possible online. For the shoppers, it provides a much more intimate and authentic shopping experience which not only has unique high-quality products that can’t be found in the mall, but allows them to directly support their local communities.