SAN MARCOS– While businesses and consumers alike have struggled with how to handle shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers market like the one in San Marcos have offered an outdoor space where some say they feel better
Since the pandemic started, a lot of people have lost their jobs and have had to resort to finding different ways of income. One way they have done that is by starting small businesses and going to farmers markets to sell their various products.
These markets have been a great way to shop locally, get fresh produce, and support small businesses. Whether it’s food, cold-pressed juices, plants, jewelry or candles, people can find a bunch of different products at the farmers market.
Kiana Reyes, a vendor at the farmers market, has loved to make jewelry, but never thought she could make a living off of it. When her husband lost his job due to COVID-19, she started making jewelry so they could make ends meet and soon started to sell
Reyes said that if it weren’t for the pandemic, she would have never had the confidence to make jewelry and go to markets to sell them. The pandemic has been very beneficial to her and has allowed her to expand on her business. She went from sitting at home with no jewelry business to being able to live off of her sales in 2021.
“I started to do little markets like this one and then my business really started to expand,” Reyes said. “I am super grateful for the farmers market community. More people are seeing my work and that is giving me more and more confidence to make more stuff.”
Vendor and jewelry maker, Mikayla McDonough, wouldn’t have her business if it weren’t for COVID-19. This past year has inspired her to make colorful jewelry that she describes as fun and fashion-forward.
McDonough said that she wants to make jewelry that is bright and fun to wear. She is tired of seeing plain colors and hopes people will experiment more with fun colors and patterns. Her inspiration is nature and the time period of the 1970’s.
“This year has been so sad and gray,” McDonough said. “I decided to make jewelry that will make people smile and bring joy into their life. We need more positivity in the world so I wanted to make jewelry that could potentially brighten someone’s day.”
The farmers market doesn’t just help the vendors, it helps the local shoppers too. They are able to have social gatherings while wearing a mask and staying socially distanced from other people. Father of two and local farmers market shopper, Joel Johnson, said that the farmers market has been a regular family activity that they have been participating in for 10 years now.
He loves to bring his kids out so that they can learn the importance of supporting smaller businesses and learning where their food comes from. He also thinks it’s important really important for him and his family to know where their produce id coming from.
“I get anything that I can here so I can avoid the grocery store,” Johnson said. “Everything just tastes better when you know exactly where it is coming from and who it’s coming from. Over the years, I have really gotten to know the farmers that sell here.”
Dorothy Roberts, a grandmother to two little girls, loves to come to the farmers market with her grandchildren. It’s one of the only places that she is able to spend time with them and still maintain being socially distant.
“It’s so great to see them out here,” Roberts said. “I am able to spend time with my family and get them little goodies while still supporting local small businesses. Since the pandemic happened, I wasn’t able to see them for a year. I am glad that the farmers market gives me and my family the opportunity to spend some time together.”
Farmers market information:
Address: 155 E. San Antonio St. San Marcos, TX 78666
Hours: Saturday 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.