COLUMBIA – Over 50 small businesses set up shop at the MU Health Care Pavilion Sunday.
According to previous KOMU 8 reporting, vendors, artisans and makers attended the Holiday Makers Market from 10 am to 4 pm
Andrea Lyn Seppo, the founding owner and director of events at Andrea Lyn Events, said Sunday was the Market’s first event in its “Curated. Crafted. Created.” series. She said the event was designed to bridge the gap between local businesses and the mid-Missouri community.
“I have a passion for… really allowing a spot where each local business can shine,” Seppo said.
One of the biggest reasons why Seppo said she chose to have the event before the Thanksgiving holiday was to beat the Black Friday shoppers. She said she wanted to give the local businesses a chance to have first dibs on the shoppers.
“Let’s start the holiday shopping off before Thanksgiving,” Seppo said. “Let’s beat the rush, let’s beat the shopping crazy of Black Friday…let’s make our own ‘Small Business Sunday’ today.”
The small businesses at the market Sunday invited interested customers throughout the day.
Mya McClain, the owner of Mya’s Gourmet Popcorn, opened up shop during the COVID-19 shutdown.
McClain said her business was able to survive through the ASCEND Program for women and minority-owned businesses in rural communities.
“We’re learning different ways to market and how to get your name out there,” McClain said. “Just different things to do that you just hadn’t thought of, you know, as your business begins to grow.”
Outside of her work with the popcorn business, McClain has been the principal of Faith Walk Academy in Paris. She said her business started as an entrepreneurial project with the students at her school.
“Everyone has something that you can market, something that you can sell,” McClain said. “Whether it’s a product, or a service, there’s something that you have that the world needs.”
Similar to McClain, Seppo said her event planning business was a “COVID business.” Seppo began planning in January 2021.
“When they’re at home, they realize, ‘I have something I like to do,'” Seppo said. “Why not bring it to the public? And why not make it a business?”
Seppo said the “Curated. Crafted. Created.” series will feature a second, Makers Market in May 2023.