Published Author Category Frontier RTP

It’s time to celebrate the season of giving with hot chocolate, family gatherings and gift-giving! Whether your traditions involve to baking cookies, decorating the tree, preparing a special meal or enjoying some brews by the fire, the Holiday Season is under way.

Here at Frontier RTP, we are continuing our own holiday tradition by showcasing 40+ vendors at the 5th Annual RTP Mistletoe Market. Swing by 800 Park Offices Drive on December 12, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m to find something for everyone on your list. It doesn’t stop there, because your gifts will keep on giving; 15% of all proceeds will be donated to Dress for Success Triangle NC!

Thirsty? Enjoy complimentary beers from Fullsteam Brewery and wine from RTP Uncorked while you shop. Hungry? Bulkogi food truck will be on site to help give you a boost.

We will be featuring some of the creative vendors you’ll find at this year’s Mistletoe Market in a series of blog posts over the next few weeks. Each vendor has something unique and thoughtful to teach us! Read on to meet three local makers.

Company: Baggins Handbags 
Mastermind: Pam Missner

Q: Give me a 3-sentence elevator pitch about your business.
A: Baggins Handbags offers handcrafted bags made with timeless design and sustainable materials like wool suits. Other items include eyeglass sleeves, upcycled denim skirts, boot socks, lavender sachets, zipper pouches, and more.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
A: You don’t have to know exactly how to get to your end goal, just start by imagining a few particular scenes and the details will fall into place.

Q: What is the most popular product among your customers or your personal favorite?
A: Custom orders are one of my most popular products, and also my personal favorite. Whether I’m creating a modern kilt skirt and multiple handbags from a Scottish clan tartan fabric, or a series of memory bags after the passing of a loved one, the legacy aspect of these unique projects has special meaning. 

Company: Creative Pottery
Masterminds: Kitty & Jennifer Sherwin

Q: Give me a 3-sentence elevator pitch about your business.
A: Although I have been working with clay on and off since I was inspired by a potter in high school, my daughter, Jennifer, who watched me while she was growing up, only really got interested after her children were in high school. However, she has progressed at such a pace that I sometimes learn from her. I have always been fascinated with animals and with ethnic designs that have worked their way into my pieces. Jennifer has developed a way of dripping contrasting colors that is stunning.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?
A: Although I started selling my wares at a few shows when I lived in Bethesda, Md. after I moved to Durham, Jennifer and I started doing shows together. We belong to the Clayworks Guild in Durham and have participated in their shows and, sometimes, in-home shows in my basement studio.

Q: What is the most popular product among your customers or your personal favorite?
A: My best sellers have been my blue and white pieces with cats, cats, cats! Some have 3 kittens, some a mom and kitten. Also popular are my mugs and pencil holders with a Tree of Life stamped on them and the leaves painted in gold. Jennifer’s best-sellers are her mugs with delicate designs or clay butterflies cut and attached to them. Her large blue platters with contrasting drippings are also popular.

Company: The Soaperie
Masterminds:  Jennifer & Mike Evarts 

Q: Give me a 3-sentence elevator pitch about your business.
A: At The Soaperie, we’re reimagining simple luxury with our artisan bath products, including soaps, scrubs, balms, aromatherapy mists, bath fizzies, and more, all made by hand. We carefully blend essential oils, clays, botanicals, and other natural ingredients to create beautiful designs and deliciously aromatic scents. Perfect for everyday use, special occasions, and unique gifts, our products invite you to find your favorite or try something new!

Q: Tell us a story about an experience that left you feeling like you had succeeded with your business.
A: We believe we’re successful if we’re making a positive difference in other peoples’ lives; for example, when customers say that our hand balm helped their child with super-dry skin or that they only buy our soap because of how amazing it smells and makes them feel, we feel successful. Similarly, when we’re able to donate soaps to local women’s shelters, we feel that we’ve achieved success with our business. For us, it’s all about bringing sunshine into someone else’s day and reminding them that they’re loved.

Q: Where do you see your business heading in the next few years?
A: We’re working to slowly, steadily scale our business. Because I work full time in addition to my business, it’s always a careful balance between time, family, and resources. My goals for the next year or two are to really focus on our website, build online sales, and connect with our audience through mini-videos and live social media. This means, of course, that I have to stop being camera shy!