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  • Writer's picturelilmyacofield

Shopping In Winter

The Vintage CactusChristmas Trade Days EventMy Misty CryerChristmas cheer was in the air Saturday at the Christmas Trade Days event, hosted by The Vintage Cactus at the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts and ExhibitionCenter. This event provided over forty vendors an opportunity to bring out their best to offer to the locals.Most vendors were from the Carlsbad/Loving area, with two travelers, one from Artesia and one from Lubbock County. This event gave the community a chance to support small businesseswhile decorating their home, fulfilling their Christmas list,and stuffing their stockings with unique gifts.The vendor supplied gift bags, offered to the first one-hundredshoppers, were arrangedin the lobby asthe shoppers lined up outsidewaiting for the event to start at 10 am. Once the doors opened, the building filled with happy faces anxious to see what was in store. Foot traffic remained steady throughout the day. The atmosphere was pleasant while music played andJose Ornelas, a DJ from Loving, announcedvendor specials and offerings along withthe countdownto 5pm when the doors closed. Outdoor food trucks provided a variety of choices throughout the event. Theselection of itemswasremarkably diverseand includedfashionable to casual clothingfor all ages, jewelryand accessories, toys and games, furnitureand home products, personal care items, delicioussnacks and baked goods, as well as unique home and yard décor. Someitems were popular brands while many werehand-craftedoriginals. Shoppers seemed satisfied withthe event with commentslike“It was great”, “I absolutely loved it”, “It’s greatto get the family out”, and“We need things like this more often”. The vendors seemed happyabout the eventand appreciativeof the support the community provided. April Safi, owner of A & M Rustic Furniture shared thatthis is the second time that her and her husband, Moe, have taken part in aVintage Cactus event, “We really enjoy it,and it is good for the community.” She explained that building furniture started out as a hobby, “We don’t have a shop or a store.”They sellfurniture and take custom orderson weekendsin front of the Exxongas station on Pierce Street. She says that the event has helped them to connect withthecommunity,so now more peopleknow that they are asmall local business. When asked what she thought about The Vintage Cactus Christmas event, Destrey Vick, a local crafter with Hand Made Things said, “It was awesome, onethe best events that I have done,”she further explained, “Events help me get my products out there in a setting so I can converse with customers and have interaction.” She also shared that she attended the first Vintage Cactus event as a customerand noted improvement in the flow of traffic through the vendor booths between the two events. Preparing for a move, Vick wanted to liquidate her products and supplies. She sees the event as a success. She sold out of Freshies while helping a friend get customorders on handcrafted laundry basket holders. Laurie Rodriguez, an Independent Consultantwith Pink Zebra said,aside from internet connection issues, “It (the event) was very nice. There were a lot ofpeople and a lot of vendors.” She relays events help her to get her name outto more peoplethat are interested in her products, “You can reach people who aren’t online.”She sells both online, offline, and provides parties at various locations. Katrina Ybarra currently operatesa long-term retail establishment, Carlsbad Printing & Design, “This is my first event, it was pretty cool, it was good. It’s crazy that there were so many people.” She shared

that she gave out abouta hundred business cards and met customers that did notknow about her business. Hercompany offersdesign and printing of custom t-shirtsfor individuals and organizations,along withembroidery services. Recentlyshestarted selling HTV vinyl which is popular among crafters. She says the event helped her to get the word out to more peopleand she hopes that she can participate in future events. Jennifer Nicholas and Brandy Villareal, a mother/daughter duo, have owned a local business, Brand Eye, for approximately ten years. Throughout that time,they traveled toattend events. Villareal shared that she and Nicholas had discussed hosting an event for about three years, with the intention of bringing “something fun” to Carlsbad, “This year, we decided now was a good time and jumped in feet first hosting our first event inJuly 2021. We were blown away by the support we have received from our community! 2020 was difficult for all business owners and I’m proud that we have found a way to help others by bringing a wonderful event to Carlsbad.” When asked about the future, Villareal replied, “The Vintage Cactus Trade Days is a work in progress and will continue adapting using the feedback from both our vendors and our shoppers! We would love to continue bringing the Vintage Cactus to Carlsbad but do not plan on doing so more than twice a year. A lot of work is put into our events behind the scenes from everyone involved to assure a successful event.” She expressed her appreciation for the support that her husbandand her dad, Roman Villarealand Brian Nicholas offer, “They help with mapping out the floor and other behind the scenes issues.” Villareal explained that the application process opens about three months before the event. After the application deadline, they begin to review and select vendors to supplya wide variety of choices for event shoppers, “The biggest challenges we are seeing when hosting these events are simply space and internet. We are hosting our events at the Walter Gerrell's Performing Arts and Exhibition Center. It’s a great space but fills up quickly. The internet connection has been an issue for vendors during the events, but I am happy that all vendors adapted quickly.”For information aboutthe application process, interested parties can email For updates on event datesfollow The Vintage Cactus: Trade Days on Facebook. Participating Vendors: A&M Rustic Furniture Agave Threads Blossom Blue Brina's Creations Buds and Bloom Crafts and Kettle Corn Cara's Crazy Cow DesignsCBD Custom Care Chelsea's Cookies & Cakes Color Street -Christy Allen, Independent Stylist Crafts and Designs by Candace Dirt Sky Boutique Dot & Willow Esque Boutique Finishing Touches GF Southern Collab

Gracefully Comfy Greenhouse Soap Co. Hand Made ThingsHeavenly Couture Boutique Jade & JewelKT Design Leigh's Bakery Lils & Crys Creations LuLaRoe -Misty Cryer, IndependentFashion ConsultantNM Beauty Olive Joy DesignsPaquime Furniture Pink Zebra -Laura Rodriguez, Independent Consultant Pistol Packin Cowgirls Portals Games & HobbiesScentsy -Kimmie Wyatt, Independent Consultant Sew n Sews Boutique SJ Designs Southern BelleStink PrettiesStrange Co. Ted's Silk Screening Trixie's Creations Whiskey RoseWhite House Antique Boutique & MoreZia Cactus Outdoor Food Trucks: Bone Appetite Hacienda de la ComadreHawaiian Island Hut Tex-Mex Burgers

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