Mercy Marketplace returns

One of the craft creations made for the Mercy Marketplace: a tumbler, with the face of an elephant and glitter.
Mercy Connections Live Edge shape decoration

NEWS & Events

Mercy Marketplace returns

Shop online or in person this year. Find holiday gifts for everyone on your list and support local artisans, too. All proceeds directly support participants in the Mercy Marketplace vendor-training class.

The artists and makers gather around the table, each taking a turn to read the short bios they had written about themselves and their work: “I do it the way I breathe”; “I’m hoping to inspire others”; “I was born a paintbrush that looked like a baby.”

One by one, the stories unfold during a Week Five meeting of the 10-week Mercy Marketplace vendor-training class earlier this month. The course culminates in the annual holiday sale that kicks off virtually and concludes in person 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Mercy Connections offices, 255 S. Champlain St., Burlington.

“Buying gifts is often an emotional decision,” Claire Wheeler, Director of Inclusive Entrepreneurship, says to the participants. “Remember to connect with your customers.”

The Mercy Marketplace skill-building sessions goes beyond guidance on time management, pricing and pitching of products, and marketing and e-commerce opportunities. This is a premier class in creation, connection, and community.

When one crafter struggles with the wording in her bio, her classmates jump in to offer suggestions until “I’m lucky that lefties are creative” emerges in the final edit.

Shauna, the lucky leftie, crafts using a Cricut, a cutting machine that works on paper, fabric, wood, and other materials, like her best friend and Mercy Marketplace colleague, Casey.

“We motivate each other,” Shauna says of her friendship with Casey.

The two women design T-shirts, mugs, ornaments, and other items, using their Cricuts. They also collaborate and share ideas and support, evident in class as they revise their bios that will be added to the upcoming e-commerce site for the online sale.

Kecia says painting helps her respond to feelings of isolation. Another person remarks that crafting eases anxiety. Several people share they find interacting with customers rewarding. The excitement about the upcoming sales event is apparent.

The Mercy Marketplace welcomes artists and crafters of all types – from photographers, mixed-media painters, writers, knitters, chefs, and more. Among the wide range of vendors:

  • Tom, a former tattoo artist, will share his energy-fused abstract drawings as well as intricately carved walking sticks.
  • Caroline creates all-natural soy candles, Northern Oakes Soy Candles. She was inspired by her desire to make something healthy, without allergy concerns or harmful fumes, that smelled lovely.
  • Kecia’s daily “journal doodle” is part of her gratitude practice. These “doodles” become layered, intricate, and intriguing mixed-media paintings that will be available for purchase.
  • Chris is a nature photographer, who participated in the virtual Mercy Marketplace last year. He made connections through the sale last year with the Peace & Justice Center, which then sold his nature photograph postcards at their store. This year, in addition to the postcards, Chris will have larger, unframed prints available to buy.

Follow Mercy Connections on Facebook (@mercyconnectionsinc) and Instagram (@mercyconnections) for updates and more information about the upcoming online sale.

Two women stand together, arms around each other, holding craft items: a gray T-shirt that says

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