Over 90 percent of West Virginia’s workforce is employed through small businesses, and among the state’s many resources to help those entrepreneurs is one unexpected avenue.
Area farmers markets are creating opportunities to individuals looking to start a business by providing them an existing client base and marketing platform.
“It helped us get our name out there, helped us get some attention and even some media coverage,” said Quinn Edgell, a co-owner of Feathered in Bridgeport. “People started hearing about Feathered and started inquiring with us about how to shop outside the farmers market, so it was really able to help us build a client base via Facebook, through Etsy and now through our brick-and-mortar store that we have in Bridgeport.”
Edgell and her co-owner, Shalayna Pulice, participated in their first Bridgeport Farmers Market in 2012.
“I literally just took a suitcase to Debbie Workman, who organizes the farmers market, with a sampling of everything to show her what we had,” Edgell said. “They were kind of hesitant with it at first and how it would do at the market, but everything came together and it really fits in with the demographic, so we just gave it a go…”