By Sarah Hayes
It was an honor to be included as one of the vendors at The Soapbox’s first pop-up market on April 10. The afternoon was full of shopping, refreshments, and live music.
The Soapbox is a new creative arts venue in Shinnston. Owners Brendan Gallagher and Maria Cusack, who share the goal of bringing art and culture to the small town, invited local vendors to participate in this event. All had unique, signature items available to purchase, ranging from vintage clothing to local honey.
While there, I met other creators in the area, while also promoting my memoir, “Invisible Monster.” My book describes my difficult and dark past, full of “monsters” from abuse and neglect to suicide, and the choice I made to still have a beautiful life despite the “monsters” in my story.
Michael and Amanda Flanigan, Shinnston residents, beekeepers and owners of Mountaineer Bees, were on the incredible list of vendors, with “products powered by honey bees,” as it states on their business card. They had a variety of products on hand, including body care products like lotion and lip balm, beard care, raw honey, wax melts, and home and office products like wood conditioner. All their products are made 100% from honey and beeswax produced from their bee farm in Salem.
Brooke Jewell, owner of BJewell Studio located in Bridgeport, was among the list of amazing artists that was in attendance. Jewell is an artist who specializes in oil painting and offers a variety of painting classes throughout Harrison County. You can catch one of her classes once a month at the Market on Main in Bridgeport, or you can try one of her new classes that will be offered at The Soapbox. On Friday, you can enjoy an oil painting class, or starting May 3, Jewell will be offering a watercolor painting series. Although her specialty is oil painting, the watercolor painting series offers a simpler form of painting that even beginners can grasp. She brought multiple oil paintings in a variety of sizes and styles that were available to purchase.
Kaitlyn Glaspell, owner of Sunmoon Apparel in Bridgeport, along with her stylist Darryan Ward, was there with their 1970s-inspired wardrobe and other rare items from this vintage thrift shop. Glaspell and Ward travel around thrifting to hand-select every item they bring into the store. Austin Glaspell, Kaitlyn Glaspell’s husband, was also there to greet all who came through the door with his acoustic guitar and his beautiful southern rock/bluegrass voice. The Glaspells are quite a team.
Maria Cusack, co-owner of The Soapbox, brought some of her beautiful, handmade jewelry, which she creates under the business name, a.salty.glow. And just like a cherry on top, Gallagher and Cusack provided freshly brewed, and oh-so-tasty cold brew for all to enjoy. I would call The Soapbox’s first pop-up market a success.
You can follow my journey on Facebook @invisiblemonstermemoir or purchase your own copy of Invisible Monster on Amazon.
For information on BJewell Studio’s classes offered or to purchase one of her pieces of art on her website, find Brooke Jewell at www.bjewellstudio.com or on social media @bjewellstudio.
Sunmoon Apparel is located at 202 E. Main Street in Bridgeport, or you can follow these traveling thrifters on Instagram @sunmoonapparel.