WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –Many of us aren't ready to think about Christmas yet, since it's still months away. Vendors at one store want you to start thinking about what you'll give and where the present is sold and made.
Beatrice Edwards opened the store Inspired Locally Marketplace in Valley Junction in February. Edwards says, "Inspired Locally is a safe haven for local businesses trying to figure out if their products are ready to go retail, or just anyone trying to get their name out there."
You'll find everything from soap, to jewelry and decor from more than 30 Iowa crafters and artists. It's like a consignment store, except vendors pay a flat fee for the booth. Edwards handles marketing and hosts events at the store every couple weeks, including one on Saturday called Christmas in July. Edwards says, "To kind of remind people, hey, don't forget about your local businesses."
The family friendly party is Saturday, July 26 from noon to 4 p.m. The store is located at 415 5th Street in Valley Junction. The store will be decked out in festive gear. Vendors will have in-store sales. Christina Roby, owner of Soothing Sense, will offer her sweet and salty spa treatments in anticipation of the holiday season. She says, "I always try to hold it off as far as I can, but I know when you're in business, any kind of business, retail or manufacturing, you always have to plan ahead."
Roby makes her natural soaps from scratch. She started her business 10 years ago and says having a place like Inspired Locally Marketplace helps her get the word out about her business. She says, “I’ve done Farmers’ Markets. I’ve tried out other consignments in the past, but being a busy mom, I don’t always have time to get out there to dedicate to advertising and marketing.”
The family friendly Christmas in July part will also offer face painting for kids from noon to 2 p.m.