Stephanie Womack was laid off not as soon as, however twice over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, so she took issues into her personal arms.
Impressed by TikTok, Womack, 36, spends hours a day slicing shapes out of aroma beads with a cookie cutter earlier than baking her creations within the oven at her Denham Springs dwelling. Then, twice a month, Womack sells her automotive air fresheners on the Watson Farmer’s Market and has managed to make up sufficient of her misplaced revenue to assist her husband pay their payments.
“This has been a very arduous yr,” Womack mentioned. “My husband is a vital employee for the town of Walker, so he’s in a position to nonetheless have his job. With me having this on the facet I’m nonetheless in a position to contribute and never be placed on state assist.”
Womack’s colourful air fresheners have been on sale on the Watson market because it first opened in June. Because the market grew, first situated within the Serenity Academy of Performing Arts & Occasion Middle car parking zone earlier than transferring in July to the bigger car parking zone of Frog’s at Magnolia Seaside, Womack’s enterprise has grown alongside.
She just lately accomplished a customized order of 150 air fresheners for a dorm on the College of Mississippi.
“Individuals appear to actually recognize it as a result of it offers them one thing regular to do regardless of all of the COVID occurring,” mentioned Rachel Deaton, 34, who created and runs the market. “You’ll be able to nonetheless store however social distance. Lots of people have been financially affected, so this has been an awesome place for folks to arrange and promote and assist with the blow from COVID. It’s had a very nice influence this yr.”
Deaton created the market, which is open each first and third Saturday of the month, as a strategy to give folks like her who reside in Watson a farmer’s market nearer to their city.
Deaton is a stay-at-home mother however mentioned operating the market has grow to be a “full-time job.”
Handmade trinkets, furnishings and even recent lemonade is on sale by the practically 90 distributors that usually signal as much as work the market.
Mt. Hermon resident Shannon Douglas, 45, mentioned she began working at her uncle’s sales space, Cryer’s Household Produce, after she misplaced hours of labor as a social employee because of the pandemic.
She sees the recent produce that her household’s sales space affords as an reasonably priced supply of wholesome meals for others struggling economically.
“It’s simply not the identical as if you go to a grocery retailer,” Douglas mentioned. “Every part is so recent and it tastes higher. We will supply folks recent produce proper from our backyard.”
Deaton has additionally tried to make use of the market fill in for vacation occasions disrupted by the pandemic, holding a Christmas market on Dec. 19.
Cubicles bought holiday-themed gadgets, and a Santa Claus picture alternative turned a draw for a lot of households after different Santa appearances within the space had been canceled out of concern for the pandemic.
The market noticed double the visitors it will get on a traditional Saturday with upwards of 1,500 folks making their means across the cubicles over the course of 5 hours, however many had been with out masks.
“It’s extra custom than something. At this age they’re so intrigued, they love Santa Claus,” 28-year-old Watson resident Adam Bailey mentioned whereas ready in line to see Santa along with his three kids. “With the entire pandemic, if it’s going to occur, it’s going to occur. It’s what it’s.”
From behind the tables of her sales space lined with vegetables and fruit, Douglas mentioned she nonetheless felt that she may keep wholesome due to their out of doors location, her masks and the gap the desk creates between her and any prospects.
“I undoubtedly fear,” she mentioned. “You don’t know the way everyone seems to be doing so I’d fairly be protected than sorry, however I really feel okay as a result of we’re in an open area they usually’re not proper up on me. I really feel like I can take my precautions and be protected.”