A Vendor Helping Vendors
A Candle Collaboration Turned Vendor Aid Fund
Candace Parrish, Ph.D. (Founder of OMandP) and Mary Wolfe (Edenton Farmer's Market President) holding a donation check on behalf of OMandP.
I had the wonderful opportunity to join the Edenton Farmer's Market (EFM) as a vendor in May of 2023. It has literally been the most pleasant, welcoming, and financially supportive vendor experience I have ever had. From day one everyone was welcoming and supportive. Even better, EFM had regular markets on Saturdays (year around) and Wednesdays (during Spring and Summer). This means that vendors have an opportunity to sell goods, build a rapport with customers, and make weekly income. This type of frequent and long-term market experience is really unusual as most markets only run in Spring & Summer months.
One Wednesday evening, I stayed behind to speak with Mary and she graciously shared the history behind the market, how they came to be a non-profit, and how much it takes to run the operation year around. Mary, the board, and volunteers certainly deserve their flowers!!! They did so much work to get the market to a sustainable operating phase in which they can continue to afford hosting vendors and guests weekly throughout all seasons. Learning this, I immediately thought of ways I could give back. I recalled that in 2021, OMandP launched a candle collaboration with Marqus Profic to raise money for his attorney fees as he was wrongfully convicted and fighting for his freedom for over 18 years now. The Unique by Marqus Profic collaboration landed us a feature in Forbes--spreading Marqus' story far beyond our reach. Most impactful of all, we were able to raise just over $1,000.00 toward Marqus' attorney fees.
The OMandP x Edenton Farmer's Market Charity Collaboration Candles-- Christmas at the Market and Fraser and Coconut.
In September of 2023, I met with the EFM board to propose a candle collaboration that would raise money for the 501-C3 in support of vendors like me. The EFM board graciously agreed and the collaboration journey began. Together, we picked the vessels, scents, and label designs. I must confess, it was a lot of fun running around the market with our two scent samples of choice in small bags, getting the input of various EFM board members on which scent we should choose. At first, we were going to choose one fragrance, but votes were split and Mary asked "why not sell them both?". She couldn't have been more right in her curious questioning! The two delightful winter scents were Fraser & Coconut and Christmas at the Market (Frosted Juniper). In addition, we also chose a beautiful green vessel which matched the aesthetic of the market.
We initially agreed to sell 24 candles--12 in each scent. However, we sold out of the first batch of candles and the demand was there for more. We decided to then to expand our sell of the candles from October to December and gave just over 30% of sales back to the market. During this time, we sold 44 candles and gave $400 dollars of this collaboration back to the EFM.
Edenton's Santa Clause Holding our Christmas at the Market Candle
Thanks to all of our wonderful customers and supporters, the donation will be designated as the first Vendors Aid Fund--geared toward helping vendors of EFM in need.
As a weekly vendor at the EFM, my heart is overflowing with joy and gratitude knowing that OMandP is continuing to make change as I first hoped when I created the company. Cheers to more and continued charity through sustainable and ingredient conscious self-care goods. 🖤
About the Author
Candace Parrish, Ph.D. is the founder of Odelia, Marie, & Patrice–a vegan and sustainable self-care brand–and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Relations at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington.