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Find unique gifts at the Eno River Farmers Market art showcase on Small Business Saturday


The Eno River Farmers Market first annual Small Business Saturday art showcase will be on Nov. 30. Photo courtesy of Corly Jones. 

Tired of the Black Friday commercials? Turn off the TV and support local businesses at the Eno River Farmers Market's first annual Small Business Saturday art showcase on Saturday, Nov. 30.

For the first time, the Eno River Farmers Market in downtown Hillsborough will be open the Saturday after Thanksgiving to celebrate local artists and farmers — which means this year, the market can say they are open every single Saturday, year-round. 

Corly Jones, the manager for the farmers market, said there will be more than 40 new artists bringing everything from woodworking and jewelry to pottery and bakery items.

“Some of our farmers are coming and only bringing their handmade craft,” Jones said. “So instead of their tables being piled up with kale and fresh wintergreens, they’re going to have dried their flowers from the summer harvest and have made wreaths.”

Jones said visiting the art showcase will be a great way to support the community, because it acts as a way to find unique gifts while also giving back to artists and farmers, especially right after Black Friday.

“I think that is what sustains our small community,” Jones said. “If you keep your dollar within the town, the town is going to thrive.”

Cheryl Pressley, owner of Cookie Gurlie, will be selling her gourmet cookies at the art showcase. Pressley said supporting small business is a way to see people’s dreams blossom as their business grows and they get more involved with the community.

“To me, it’s a really great thing to see,” Pressley said. “Not only being a small business person, but seeing other folks who have small businesses as well — seeing their business grow and being proud of them and drawing inspiration from them.”

Like Jones, Pressley said she is most looking forward to seeing all the different creations at the art showcase.

“For me, I just love to see all the different things you can’t find in the big stores,” Pressley said. “Things that are unique and nobody else will have.” 

Supporting small businesses like the ones at the art showcase also ensures a relationship between the people buying and selling items. 

Martha Pengelly, owner of Fieldstone Garden, said getting to know the people who purchase your produce and craft is a way to support the community and the families of vendors.

“I think that’s super important these days, where it’s getting more (online) and global,” Pengelly said. “I think having those relationships is really refreshing.”

Pengelly will be selling dried flower wreaths from her farm at the art showcase on Saturday, as well as wreaths made from winter plants, like cedar, pine and holly. She said she is looking forward to being able to share her craft with the community.

“People are really excited about the wreaths,” Pengelly said. “I’ve never been a really crafty person, and I like this opportunity to put my creativity out there for people to hopefully enjoy.”


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