Vendors Fair a success

One key aspect of a healthy community — small business owners helping other small businesses- was demonstrated by He Hu Darz over the weekend.

He Hu Darz, a local family entertainment business located in the Middlesboro Mall, began hosting monthly vendor fairs in August in order to provide merchants with an easy way to market their merchandise. The absence of fees, paired with the great location in the center of the mall, make this a perfect opportunity for vendors in the community to showcase their business.

“As a small business we want to make it a priority to encourage other small business owners, so we decided to bring them in and work with them and help each other as a community,” said Melonie Matthews, Marketing Director at He Hu Darz.

Sept. 23 marked the second installment in the growing event as several vendors from the area were welcomed into the space provided, one of whom being Randi Turner, a student at Bell County High School.

Turner, 17, provides her clients with handmade items designed specifically to each customer’s choosing. She claims the vending business has proven to be a sufficient way for someone of her age to make — and save — money, specifically for college.

Many others also credit vending as being an adequate and convenient way to make money on the side. For example, local Lynn Camp teacher Caitlyn Jeffrey has adopting being a 31 consultant to her routine in order to save up money for the ever so rewarding expense of having a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

“Being a teacher is a great job and I love it, but my husband and I are planning to have a child and we’re going to have to go through IVF means, which will result in a lot of bills,” said Jeffrey. “Therefore I needed to find a way to make more money, but didn’t want to have to go through the process of getting another job, so this is the perfect way for me to do it on my own time and work from home.”

Other vendors set up at the event included: Lemongrass Spa, an all-natural chemical free skincare line; Abby Lynn Creations, selling handmade jewelry and accessories; and Lip Sense.

The fair is scheduled to take place on the fourth Saturday of each month, excluding October, which is scheduled for the third Saturday in order to eliminate any interference with the Halloween events He Hu Darz has in store for the season. It currently stands alone among other vendor fairs and markets as being the only free of charge place for merchants to set up booths and keep 100 percent of their earnings.

Not only does the event profit local merchants, but, in return, He Hu Darz receives more business from those strolling through the mall who decide to stop by and explore what the vendors have to offer, many of whom may not have entered the store if not for the fair.

“It profits everyone involved and we thought it would be a great community effort for us all to share a part in,” said Matthews.

The event is planned ahead of time and vendors must make reservations in order to set up a table during the fair. While the month of October is already booked, anyone wishing to participate in November should feel free to contact He Hu Darz via phone call or simply by visiting.