ELIZABETHTOWN – The second Holly Jolly Christmas Show wowed many shoppers who walked through the doors on Saturday.
The show was not very busy, and there was no frenzied shopping to see like at some Black Friday doorbreak sales. Although most of the visitors did not wear face masks, the crowd seemed to be comfortably distributed.
“It’s very local, and you don’t have to go that far. With COVID, it’s not that big a crowd, ”said buyer Jill Smith.
Like the customers, the salespeople, too, seemed delighted.
“You know how much women love Christmas and decorating,” said Brook Phelps, 27, who ran the mustard seed shop at the back of the Whimsical Florist & Gifts host store.
Phelps, who owns the clothing business with her sister, Amber Coleman, also worked for the show last year.
Phelps and Coleman are from the communities of Delco and Whiteville, respectively.
“I think the most important thing for me is to get our name known, of course, and to offer reasonably priced women’s clothing,” Phelps said. “And the rent for the booth is reasonable.”
Smith, who is in her 40s and lives in Elizabethtown, was shopping for a tunic, earrings and a pair of leggings on seller Jackie O’Neil Designs’ site.
“I came here just to check out the sellers,” Smith said. “I think it’s representative of our riding. Most of what people in the county buy and search for can be found here.
The three-day run of the show started on Friday and continued on Saturday and Sunday.
About 21 salespeople were working the in-store bazaar on Saturday morning in the building that once housed Goody’s.
“We have a variety of items and gifts,” said Maurice Williams, local florist and promoter of the Holly Jolly Christmas Show. “It kind of starts your Christmas season.”
A year ago, Williams first offered a reduced option to vacation buyers when the Junior League of Fayetteville canceled the popular Holly Day Fair for the first time in 54 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He knew he had a good idea of the amount of foot traffic and the success of the vendors at the initial event.
Williams, who plans to maintain the event as an annual attraction, estimated that 400 to 500 buyers attended the show on Friday.
Vendors, with trade names such as Ladybug Adventures, Jackie’s Stitches, Southern Belle Boutique, and Fired Up Jewelry, were spread across the department store. As for Fired Up Jewelry, it promotes its products as “Handcrafted from live ammunition.”
“I love earrings made from balls,” Lela Harrelson, 73, said with a chuckle. “And the Christmas decor is really pretty. I love coming to a bazaar.
Jackie O’Neil, 47, was working her handmade jewelry, scarves and fashion clothes in a corner of Whimsical Florist. Kellie, his 15 year old daughter, was helping him.
“It’s been good for me,” Jackie O’Neil said of the show. “It’s a way to advertise my business and get people to come to Lumberton. “
For eight years she operated a Jackie O’Neil Designs brick and mortar store on Liberty Hill Road in Lumberton.
Lexi Powell, 16, of Whiteville, said she came with her family on Saturday just to see what it looked like. Although many shoppers were shopping for Christmas gifts for their family and friends, Lexi said she had no plans to do any Christmas shopping.
“I like the shops. All clothes and jewelry, ”she said.
His report on the show? “It’s okay,” she said. “It’s up to date.”
Qiana Pridgen was working on the series for the first time. The 41-year-old owns Keycentric Designs from Elizabethtown.
Like many salespeople, she creates her own merchandise – a talent she attributes to God.
Her husband and mother provided on-site assistance when needed.
“I would say yes,” she replied, when asked if the show had been a successful business for her so far. “The success would be sold. However, I got off to a good start.
Customers, she reported, had paid a lot of attention to her line of door hangers.
“I think it’s a good idea to share local talent,” said Pridgen, “and allow locals to support each other outside of day-to-day shopping.”
As for this saleswoman, she plans to resume work on the holiday show in 2022.
“I think based on so far, yes,” Pridgen said. “I’m going to see how it plays out and how I can make it more effective for me. “
Karen Hardy, 45, of Chadbourn, was resting at a table with her 13-year-old son, Brayden Suggs. She said she was just released from the hospital after weight loss surgery.
“I’m not supposed to go out,” she said, “but I’m not taking orders very well.”
She attended the Holly Jolly Christmas Show to support Williams, who presented the event. They worked together at Walmart.
“That’s good. I knew it would be with Maurice in charge,” said Hardy. “I couldn’t miss it. It’s Maurice!
This story is written by Michael Futch of Bladen Journal. Contact him at 910-247-9133 or [email protected]