FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Small, local businesses and tiny side hustles are the highlight of a regular market in Fairhope. The Mobile Bay Maker’s Market helps bring attention to people who make things. Every seller here is busy. Take Mike Piercy. His full-time job is running Pat’s Bar in downtown Mobile. Sunday he was selling local honey.
“I got into the honey a few years ago, planted several fruit trees and saw a couple of the markets and said, Hey, I can sell honey. And we went from two hives to 30 hives and now, like, set up out here at Fairhope,” said Piercy. The market brings together around 50 local artisans or businesses, the requirement here is that sellers have to make, create or grow 80% of what they’re selling. It was started to meet a need in the area nearly two years ago.
“Just didn’t really have a, you know, a local market that was available on the weekends around here. It’s growing so fast and we have so many people to showcase it, this is such a beautiful location. So we kind of thought we might as well start a market, you know, see how it works down here,” said the manager of the Mobile Bay Maker’s Market Amanda Webb. One purpose is to help build these small businesses, and another is to help build a sense of community among these makers.
“I love meeting everybody. I love that this is a market where it supports local artisans. Basically, everything here is homemade. There is nothing that is store-bought or ready-made,” said Annette Covington with the memorably named Annette’s Yummy for your Tummy Cakes. Lisa Douglas sat surrounded by her handmade pet leashes and collars.
“I love it. I love to meet the people. I love to meet the dogs. It’s a fun way to start your day and just actually enjoy all your Sunday. And we have food trucks and everything. It’s a good time,” said Lisa Douglas with Puppy Presents. Small business owners found here can feel the economic challenges of supply chain issues or rising overhead costs even more than some of their larger competitors–their mission here is to keep making. Follow updates from the Mobile Bay Maker’s Market on Facebook.