Last week, I had talked about the Sip and Shop event that I had went to and talked about Melissa and Rebekah – the founders of the event. I loved their story so much, that I had to find out more. I truly believe that every business has a story and I needed to know theirs. Learning that Melissa and Rebekah had not only been friends for over 34 years, but managed to combine bracelets and candles (my two favorite things) into a small business was so inspiring.
But why candles and bangles? Melissa says “I’ve been making bangles for like 20 years. Bracelets in the stores never fit my wrists so I made my own, and gave them as gifts. It wasn’t until last year that I did my first market at Frobie’s in Dracut, MA. I had so much fun and was immediately hooked on the vibe. So I told Bekah to make some of her candles to sell at the next event”. From there, they started building their network and hopping over to other markets as well as house parties. That’s when the idea of the sip and shop came about. “We wanted to come up with our own events and markets. We started with a small sip & shop last August with 7 vendors. Then we did our first pop up shop in December 2016 over at Humanity Boutique! Both were a HUGE success!! So then came the idea for a bigger Sip & shop with more vendors and a charity to donate to.”
That’s what I love about these events – not only was it a success for all 18 vendors, but they were also raising money for a charity – the House of Hope. With that, they raised close to $1,000.
But, with markets geared towards small businesses such as SOWA, I had to know what drew them to Lowell. “Born and raised in Lowell, we have always been proud of where we come from. There is so much history and such a vibrant artist community. Being a part of that is inspiring! We have met so many talented people. It pushes us to learn and to challenge ourselves. We look forward to helping grow these events and also changing the minds of people who may think that there isn’t a lot to like about Lowell, because there is!”
But where can you find Melissa’s bangles and Rebekah’s candles? “We are doing a Pop Up Shop at Fuse Bistro on Mother’s Day (May 14th – mark your calendars and get your mother a gift. She deserves it)! We couldn’t be more excited! From there we plan on Friday Nights! for Made in Lowell (first event is May 12th), then the Lowell Folk Festival of course!”
With that, you need to get yourself one of Melissa’s bangles and one of Rebekah’s candles. Knowing the story of friendship, empowerment and the entrepreneurial spirit makes owning one (or several) of these items that much better.
I’ll be at Fuse Bistro on Mother’s Day and you can count on catching me at Friday Nights! and the Folk Festival. Will I see you there??