A local holiday market transforms the Rockford college Burpee center into a shopping destination.
For many small businesses, the majority of their sales are done online.
So when Kim Girouard, owner of Kiki Bird Jewelry was given a chance to meet with buyers in person, she jumped on the opportunity.
She says her decision to take part in the holiday market is proving great for her business. "The community support has been phenomenal. It's been a steady flow since 10 o'clock. I think they were lined up before 10 to come in. So it's ben a pleasant surprise," says Girouard.
She is one of nearly 30 other vendors participating in the market.
Candles, jewelry, and clothes are just a few of the many options shoppers can choose from.
Organizer Lauren Davis says the event has grown in popularity since it began."This is the second annual holiday market, and so far today I think we've seen double the attendance we saw last year."
Her goal is to inspire people to shop locally as much as possible, especially during the holidays. "If you spend 100 dollars in your local community, 69 percent of that come back to our community through taxes, payroll, other business expenditures. So shopping local just really makes a big difference," said Davis.
Many of the buyers, like Jennifer Whiteford, say they know the positive effects their purchases can have. Jennifer and her husband are small business owners themselves. "So we know what it's like to have your money stay in town so we try to do the same for others."
She came to buy a few items from Candle Crest, which she will give to friends and family as Christmas gifts. "And then I'm getting some people in my life who have pets some local natural treats for their pets," said Whiteford.
If you missed the holiday market, you can go to the Winnebago Buy Local website. It has listings of 115 area businesses.
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