Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Wander Through Wilton hosts school fundraisers and an outdoor art market

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Wilton residents explored the storefronts, the Riverview Artists Mill and the first outdoor art market as part of the Wander Through Wilton Downtown event last weekend.

Wander Through Wilton is a biannual event where downtown businesses offer special offers, along with live performances in the park or other events. Last weekend’s event included a raffle for a basket of locally made goods for those who collected stamps from various locations on their ‘Wander Pass’. A local Scout troop sold potted flowers just in time for Mother’s Day, as did the parent-teacher organization at Lyndeborough Central School/Florence Rideout Elementary School.

Megan Nantel, PTO Secretary, was in Main Street Park on Saturday to help with plant sales and a preview of the Scholastic Book Fair.

“We’re just trying to sell out,” Nantel said, laughing.

With the sale of plants, PTO events for the children of the elementary school are supported, e.g. B. Regular skating evenings in the FRES sports hall. Plant sales were supported with donations from Fox Den Farms, Achille Agway, House by the Side of the Road, Brookdale Fruit Farm and seedlings donated by community members.

In addition to selling plants, there was also a selection of children’s books from the Scholastic Book Fair for sale. The fair at the FRES high school until May 15, as well as in-person and online purchases are open. Orders can be placed online at scholastic.com/bf/springfreslcs. For personal shopping times visit the LCS/FRES PTO Facebook page.

At the Wilton Riverview Artists’ Mill, artists had opened their studios and offered art for sale – some for a good cause. Through the We Art Ukraine fundraiser, hikers who purchased artworks received half of the sale price to support international non-profit charities supporting the relief efforts in Ukraine.

The Wilton Outdoor Arts Market is expected to be a new monthly market to be set up outside the Riverview Artists Mill on Howard Street. Nanette Perrotte, a vendor at the market who sells bath products, said she intends to be a regular at the market, noting the city has done a lot of work to revitalize Main Street in Wilton. Currently all downtown store fronts are filled, some since the middle of the pandemic.

“The exciting thing is to be here at the beginning of rebirth,” said Perrotte. “I will definitely come back and support this effort.”

Small markets like Wilton Arts Market are bread and butter for some vendors, like Cindy Collard, who owns Quarter Moon Farm in Hancock, which grows certified organic garlic and makes a variety of garlic products. Collard said she built the business before COVID, but it became her full-time job during the pandemic when her office was closed. Although she offers her products in a few local stores, about 75 percent of her sales come from farmers’ markets and art markets like Wilton’s.

“Once you go, you come back and people remember your name,” Collard said.

The business has also increasingly become part of the household income since the pandemic for Erin Cunningham and Corey McNabb, a couple who make candles, each under their own label. Cunningham owns Mugxury candles, homemade paraffin-free candles made from soy wax and housed in ceramic mugs that can be used after the candle has melted. Cunningham personalizes each candle with creative accents to indicate their scent or as a creative touch.

“We started making candles as a pandemic hobby last year and it’s waned,” Cunningham said. “I’ve lit so many candles during the pandemic that I took an interest in it.”

Cunningham, a big proponent of thrift shops and upcycling, said that all the candles she burned left her with lots of useless jars and other candle holders, and it pushed her to create a candle with a container that had a use would have after the candle was gone. The soy wax she uses is easy to clean, leaving the mug safe for regular use afterwards.

“People seem to like it and it’s a beautiful, durable and practical gift,” Cunningham said.

Last year, starting on Labor Day, Cunningham sold more than 450 of her candles. And for McNabb, who makes his own candles under the Dragon’s Den Candles brand, it’s become almost a full-time job. While both Dragon’s Den Candles and Mugxury have Etsy stores, Cunningham says they do particularly well when shoppers can get their hands on them.

“If you can hold them and smell them, people appreciate the artistry more,” Cunningham said. “You don’t get that by looking at a picture online. Events like this that are specifically geared towards art and where people come with that appreciation help a lot.”

Deb Mills, an energy medicine practitioner with offices in Peterborough, offered Reiki sessions at the market. She said the market is an opportunity for her to reach a new circle of potential customers who are still in her area.

Ashley Saari can be reached at extension 603-924-7172. 244 or [email protected] She is on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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