Small Businesses Exhibit Imaginative Products at the Woodbury Town Center

Dozens of small business owners gather to showcase and sell their products at the main palm tree lined street in Woodbury Town Center throughout the second weekend of every month. From handmade jewelry to freeze-dried candy, shoppers can browse a diverse array of items.

Modern Makers Mart, the organization behind the event, formed to give Orange County small businesses the opportunity to grow within their local communities.

On Nov. 12, freelance artist Lindsey Banks displayed her arts and architecture business ARTWMN at the market for the first time. During the event, she was able to take the relationship with her customers to a new level through open communication.

“I have my own online Etsy store, and I’ve been doing custom orders for the last seven to eight years, and so it’s definitely new to actually connect with people and tell stories behind the different images because everything does have a story,” Banks said. “I just feel like everybody’s heart is in it here, and so we’re all able to make those connections together.”

Banks said that the market helped contribute to the growth of her business by expanding her customer base. Multiple people have come up to her about custom orders and even more have taken home her business cards.

I just feel like everybody’s heart is in it here, and so we’re all able to make those connections together.”

— Lindsey Banks

Students also find the market to be an opportunity to discover one-of-a-kind pieces while supporting and getting to know small business owners, according to sophomore Priscilla Bouillon, who is a recurring shopper at the Woodbury Town Center pop-up market.

“I like looking at all the shops and all the little cute things they make and just things you can’t buy at other places normally,” Bouillon said. “It’s more personal, and you can know why they have the business and what they do it for.”

Businesses of all kinds find the market beneficial. Stephen Thomas and his family are the owners of Caliblüm, a line of handcrafted, silverskin-infused body care products sold at the market.

“For us, this is a stopgap measure allowing us to test market the actual product itself along with testing the marketing and messaging and seeing if it basically resonates with clients,” Thomas said. “We’re at the point now where we’re looking for exposure, and so that’s where these markets help.”

Upon submitting an application and paying a $110 fee, business owners can set up booths at the Woodbury Town Center for a six-hour period, according to the Modern Makers Mart website.

The market also allows aspiring artists to showcase their special work and build bonds with other small business owners.

“It’s a good opportunity because not only do you meet other small businesses, you get to connect with the city, as well,” Whiimsie Candles founder Andra Tiroga said. “I’ve actually run into the same people now and again, so it’s like a community, and it’s nice to get to learn more about other people.”