Providence couple starts market open to all
By Abigail Allen
Buyers and sellers alike made their way to the Providence Homeowners Association Community Center on Saturday for the first Providence Village Community Market.
The event, organized by James and Mallory Stewart, gave 18 vendors the opportunity to connect with buyers in their area and other small business owners, which is set to grow.
“We decided that we would start a market where anybody’s welcome to come,” James said.
Their business is Athena Body Care. When they looked into the area markets with a friend who has a Color Street business, they found Athena was accepted while the friend’s business wasn’t.
That’s how having a Providence-based market was born.
“There’s so many small businesses out there where they’ve invested in things like Color Street and Scentsy, where they’ve invested a good amount, but they can’t get into these shows,” he said. “And people want to buy that stuff.”
Although located on PHOA property, the event is not limited to members of that HOA or even to residents of Providence Village.
One of the companies at the first market, B Sweet Bakery, got its start in Providence Village before the owner moved to Princeton, Texas.
“Everyone in Providence Village were the people that got me started,” Kristi Brumit said.
Many of the other vendors kicked off their endeavors because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Melanie Stewart, the owner of EGR Designs, had been refurbishing furniture for years while serving as a music teacher.
After some health complications she experienced in the years before COVID made it unsafe for her to face regular exposure to the virus, she decided to turn her hobby into a full-fledged business out of her Providence Village home.
She now does custom work for most of her customers, picking up extra pieces on the side.
Her classroom patience helps translate to the pieces, she said.
“EGR is ‘Extra Grace Required,’” she said. “It’s what I used to call the kids who needed the extra grace instead of getting mad at them or thinking ‘Oh, my gosh. Here they come.’ It was reminding myself they need the extra grace and the love so they could be the person that they need to be.”
Nearby, Providence Village resident Nakia Paylor of Paylor Made stood behind her table of resin creations.
She took the opportunity to not only sell her products, but also to make connections with Aretha Young, Roslyn Boyd and Tiana Boyd—mother, daughter and granddaughter,
The three Silverado residents are all entrepreneurs in a family of business owners. Roslyn had a table at the market, as well—
Paylor, Young and the Boyds said they would be back at the market again.
Lindsay Aguilar-Franco with Elysium Herbal Apothecary, had her oldest daughter London Aguilar-Franco with her as a young sales assistant.
“Everything’s organic,” Lindsay said. “I take herbs and I infuse them in the oils for six weeks, and I use those oils to make the products.”
Next to her was Mallory Praught with Happy Camper Creations, which makes tumblers and pillows and has been in business with her mom for about five years.
They take custom orders.
“And we don’t charge anything extra for the custom orders,” she said.
Derilyn Walker, the creator of Bullseye Leatherworks, put out her handcrafted wallets, pouches and purses, including one that looks like a taco with all the fixings.
She taught Boy Scouts how to do leatherworking, and when she retired, she wanted to use it as a money-making creative outlet that she can do despite being legally blind.
“Most of them I either carve or stamp,” Derilyn said. “Everything from the beginning to the end is all hand-done.”
Outside with their smoker, business partners Vantrese Walker and Brenda Willis had a selection of food available, including an entire meal on a skewer.
“[The market] was a wonderful idea, and I didn’t have any expectations, but the vendors that came out were wonderful and they all have great products, and it was a steady flow,” Willis said.
The next market, set for Aug. 28, will likely be larger. More vendors have already signed up to participate, James said.
For information about participating in a future market, visit https://www.athenabody.com/pages/pv-community-market.