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Young Entrepreneurs Showcase Creativity At Saturday Market
A young shopper makes a purchase at one of the many tables set up inside the Happy Artists studio in Escalon over the weekend. More tables were set up outside the business in the Vineyard Square Shopping Center on McHenry Avenue. Sellers were local entrepreneurs, up to 18-years-old. Marg Jackson/The Times

It was a day to celebrate creativity and support young artists at work.

The first of two planned ‘Maker’s Markets’ event was hosted both inside and outside the Happy Artists Children’s Creative Studio on McHenry Avenue on Saturday, Oct. 17.

With nearly two dozen participants, the youngsters – up to age 18 – had the chance to show and sell their wares. Merchandise had to be made by the young seller, and items ranged from candles to bath salts, key chains to bracelets, decorated T-shirts to baked goods.

For studio owner Alicia Johnson, it was a day that couldn’t have gone any better.

“I am so happy with the turnout,” Johnson said, noting both the large number of participants and a steady stream of shoppers. “It is so great for these kids to have an opportunity to be creative and be supported by the community. I like to call them creative entrepreneurs … they are the future Etsy sellers, the future shop owners.”

From Escalon, Oakdale, Modesto and beyond, the young crafters and bakers enjoyed interacting with potential buyers, many taking time to answer questions about their work.

“I found them on Pinterest,” said 11-year-old Tyli Holback of the macramé key chains she crafted.

The sixth grader from El Portal said she especially enjoyed learning “new knots” while making them.

Mom Jenny Thompson homeschools her son Joey, 6, who is in kindergarten, and her schedule allows her to have every other Friday off.

“We try to bake on my Fridays off,” she explained, as she was on hand to oversee his baking of banana muffins and mini banana bread loaves for the market.

Joey’s favorite part, he said, is after all the mixing is done and the batter is in the oven.

“Then you get to relax while it’s cooking,” he said.

Bringing bracelets and hair clips to sell, nine-year-old Berlin Hylla of Modesto also was showcasing her craft, making more products on site.

“I like how we make the special glitters,” she said of adding some bling to the hair clips.

She also was excited to have gotten a mini-loom to help craft more products, a little before her birthday, so she could bring it on Saturday to replenish her product line.

Outside, 12-year-old Marley Huff had plenty of fabric painted T-shirts for sale, some with Halloween themes, others ready for holiday wearing and many with an addition of glitter.

“My dad’s mom was in the handcrafted T-shirt business,” explained the El Portal seventh grader. “And most ladies like glitter, so we decided to do it.”

Oakdale’s Ava Lund, 8, had a variety of items, Halloween artwork, some mermaid designs, bead art and more.

“I love it,” offered her mom, Kylie. “This is a great learning experience for them.”

The next Maker’s Market, also planned at Happy Artists in the Vineyard Square Shopping Center on McHenry, is set for Saturday, Dec. 5 from noon to 3 p.m.

He likes to bake, and six-year-old Joey Thompson of Escalon found people more than happy to buy his freshly made banana bread and muffins at the Oct. 17 Marker’s Market hosted in conjunction with Happy Artists. Marg Jackson/The Times
Berlin Hylla, 9, from Modesto kept busy at the Maker’s Market on Saturday by not only selling her bracelets, barrettes and more, but also making more to re-stock her inventory. Marg Jackson/The Times