Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Wander Through Wilton Hosts School Fundraising, Outdoor Art Market

Wilton residents explored shop windows, the Riverview Artists Mill and the first open-air art market last weekend as part of the Wander Through Wilton downtown event.

Wander Through Wilton is a semi-regular event where downtown stores offer special offers, along with live performances in the park or other events. Last weekend’s event included a raffle with a basket of homemade goods for those collecting stamps from various places on their “Wander Pass”. Just in time for Mother’s Day, a local group of scouts was selling potted flowers, as well as an organization of parents and teachers at Lyndeborough / Florence Rideout High School.

Megan Nantel, PTO secretary, was in Main Street Park on Saturday helping sell plants as well as review the Scholastic Book Fair.

“We’re just trying to sell ourselves,” Nantel said through a laugh.

The plant sale serves to support PTO events for children in primary school, such as regular skating evenings at FRES Gymnasium. The sale of the plants was supported by 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 plant sales, there was also a selection of children’s books from the School Book Fair. The fair is in the FRES hall until May 15, and personal and online purchases are available. Orders can be placed online at scholastic.com/bf/springfreslcs. For personal shopping hours, visit the LCS / FRES PTO Facebook page.

At Wilton Riverview Artists’ Mill, artists opened their studios and sold artwork – some for a good cause. Through a fundraising event, “We Art Ukraine,” wanderers who bought fine art gave half of the sale price to go to support international nonprofit charities that support efforts to help Ukraine.

The Wilton Outdoor Art Market is expected to be a new monthly market located outside the Riverview Artists Mill on Howard Street. Nanette Perrotte, a market vendor offering bathing products, said she intends to be a regular at the market, noting that the city has done a lot of work on reviving Wilton’s main street. Currently, all the windows in the city center are full, some from the middle of the pandemic.

“What’s exciting is being here at the beginning of the rebirth,” Perrotte said. “I will definitely go back and support that effort.”

Small markets like the Wilton Arts Market are bread and butter for some suppliers, such as Cindy Collard, owner of Quarter Moon Farm in Hancock, which grows certified organic garlic and produces a variety of garlic products. Collard said she was building a business before COVID, but it became her full-time job in the middle of a pandemic when her office closed. Although it offers its products in some local stores, about 75 percent of its sales come from agricultural markets and art markets like Wilton’s.

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

The business has also become an increasingly part of the household income from 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 cups that are usable after the candle is melted. Cunningham tailors each candle to creative touches to mark its scent or as a creative touch.

“We started making candles last year as a hobby pandemic, and it took off,” Cunningham said. “I lit so many candles during the pandemic that I was interested.”

Cunningham, a big proponent of thrift and upcycling stores, said all those candles she lit left her with a lot of useless glass jars and other candle holders, and prompted her to think about creating a candle with a bowl that would benefit after the candle disappeared . The soy wax he uses is easy to clean and leaves the cup safe for regular use afterwards.

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

Last year, starting with Labor Day, Cunningham managed to sell more than 450 of its candles. And for McNabb, who makes his own candles under the Dragon’s Den Candles brand, this has become an almost constant occupation. While both Dragon’s Den Candles and Mugxury have Etsy stores, Cunningham said they are especially good when customers can put them in their hands.

“When you can hold them, smell them, people value art more,” Cunningham said. “It’s not something you can get by looking at a picture on the internet. Having events like this, which are especially focused on art, which people come to with that respect, helps a lot. ”

Deb Mills, an energy medicine doctor 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 buyers who are still in her area.

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

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