More than just shopping: ‘Saint George Market’ provides hands-on experience to help small businesses

Vendor at previous Saint George Market, St. George, Utah, March 16, 2021 | Photo from Saint George Market Facebook page, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — From local jewelers to gourmet caramel apples, the “Saint George Market” is continuing its mission to help put small businesses into the community spotlight with their next event Saturday at Town Square Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Clothing vendor at a previously held Saint George Market, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo provided by Saint George Market, St. George News

This month, the market will be showcasing over 100 vendors local to Southern Utah. In just one year, and having held only two events, the market has already helped several individuals develop their hobbies into full-time businesses.

Saint George Market founder Indigo Klabanoff told St. George News that the market aims to be a small business incubator. She said that unlike other markets, she and her team take an active role in helping their vendors to succeed.

“Everything we do is hands-on,” she said, “so we’re there for the vendor from start to finish. If they are selling jewelry and they want to grow their business, we’ll be there to support them, to offer tips and tricks and to provide really a hands-on experience.”

Klabanoff said she always knew she wanted to do something with small business and entrepreneurism. When she saw the various markets held in the community, she realized that there was a greater need for markets that focus on helping small businesses grow.

“There wasn’t anything really focusing on small business that just weren’t like a farms market or weren’t like vintage market days,” she said, adding that she saw a niche that could be filled of “really providing a hands-on experience to these small businesses and helping them grow.”

Vendor at a previously held Saint George Market, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo provided by Saint George Market, St. George News

Kris Archer, owner of a local party planning company called Bougie Balloons, said that she started her business expecting to get a few jobs a month. Archer started the business in 2021 of this year after helping decorate parties for friends. After attending the market, she quickly gained followers and now receives around 10 jobs a week.

“I think that’s probably one of the biggest things that helped me just at the beginning: to have people know that I was in St. George and know what was available,” Archer said. “It helped me a ton.”

Bougie Balloons isn’t the only business to experience such unprecedented growth. In the previous markets, a local gourmet apple company called Laura’s Gourmet Apples has also caught the wave of growth. Each event, it has had to raise its prices to keep up with the growing demand for its products.

The market is proving that it can help small businesses, but it doesn’t stop there. As previously reported by St. George News, in addition to helping vendors, the market has begun a mentoring program called “Swimming With the Sharks” to help guide young entrepreneurs toward success.

To learn more about the Saint George Market, visit the official event website. Though the vendor booths are already full for October’s market, prospective vendors can sign up to be included in the next market in March 2022.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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