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Happy Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day Market celebrates creativity, love

By Staff | Feb 14, 2020

Bridget Barber, of FairPlay, Md., and Becky Gloyd, of Frederick, Md., look at jewelry at the Thistle & Lark Shop, as owner Jessie Biggs points out pieces to them, at the Valentine's Day Market on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Fifth Annual Valentine’s Day Market was overflowing with creative talent, as 24 artisans could be found selling their wares inside and outside of Town Run Tap House and Community Pub on Saturday.

According to market organizer and Wild Rose Soap Company owner Michelle Kwiatkowski, the event grows every year.

“We’ve had a good turnout this year, for the Valentine’s Day Market,” Kwiatkowski said, mentioning that one of her favorite things about the market, is seeing people buy thoughtful gifts for their significant others, family and friends. “It’s cute to see the couples shopping together for each other. I’ve also seen a lot of people shopping for themselves, which is wonderful, too.”

The market, just like with the Christmas markets Kwiatkowski organizes, drew many attendees because of the increased number and quality of its vendor selection. None of its vendors were selling commercial products.

For Thistle & Lark Shop owner Jessie Biggs, after selling at Kwiatkowski’s Christmas market for the first in December, she knew she needed to come back to sell at the Valentine’s Day Market.

Man Torch Natural Soy Candles owner Matt Cullen, right, talks about his candles with Wendy Ransom, of Shepherdstown, during the Valentine's Day Market on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

“I really love Shepherdstown,” Biggs said. “I do a lot of craft shows like this one, and this one has been very successful. For a show in the middle of the winter, this is well attended. I’m already planning on doing the Christmas market on Small Business Saturday next year!”

According to Biggs, she chose some of her wares to reflect the holiday theme of the market.

“I’ve tried to include a lot of rose gold colors, and I’ve got peach moon stone, as well,” Biggs said.

Another market newcomer was Sacred Roots Herbal Sanctuary owner Hillary Banachowski. While Banachowski has been running her 34-acre medicinal herb farm in Shepherdstown for four years, she hadn’t considered participating in the market until this year.

“Winter is our off season, so it’s a nice opportunity to come together with the community and meet new customers. We have a lot more free time right now, than during the growing season,” Banachowski said, in between selling tinctures, teas and dried herb bouquets to her customers. “This year will be our fifth growing season, and we feel very rooted in the community. We really like to do as much as we can to collaborate in the community.”

While a number of the artisans at the market were new, many of the customers were new, as well.

“It’s my first time coming to this event. I saw it advertised and it looked like it could be a lot of fun,” said Wendy Ransom, of Shepherdstown. “I’m looking for valentine gifts. I usually celebrate Valentine’s Day with my family — I have two sons and a husband, so we celebrate together.”