CULLMAN - It was a drizzly weekend, but that didn’t keep the droves away from this year’s Holly Market at the Cullman Civic Center. The market, formerly called the Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, was hosted by Cullman City Parks and Recreation and featured approximately 80 vendors. While the rain dampened some of the outside inflatables, the market was abuzz, as potential customers kept pouring in. . “We are confident in saying that this was the most well-attended show we have ever had. Most of the vendors sold two-to-three times the amount they have in years past. It was also a big plus having additional vendors outside to offer some more variety as well as having all the free kids’ activities,” said Waid Harbison, CP&R’s marketing & programs director. “Kelly Pulliam is our Civic Center manager and is in charge of the show, so she did a fantastic job getting the additional vendors and really taking the event to the next level. Definitely the most successful craft show since it started over 20 years ago according to attendees and vendors. Jackie Wade, of Holly Pond, came to the Holly Market to represent her small business, Heart’s Desire.
The holidays are an especially busy time for any retail business, but for Lisa Williams-Laufer and her Nectar Republic, it has already hit an insane peak. “It was just kind of crazy,” Williams-Laufer says. “I didn’t want to set myself up for failure,” Williams-Laufer says of wanting to start slowly. Her grand opening is on Saturday for Small Business Saturday. Williams-Laufer started her business out of her home three years ago to make handmade soy candles with strong fragrances. She’s been selling in boutiques and – shockingly to her and just about everyone else – Whole Foods Market. Williams-Laufer was selling her candles at a local farmers market when a buyer from the chain approached her. “It’s just really kind of taken off from there,” she says. “Are you kidding me. ” was the general response Williams-Laufer says she had to landing with the chain. “It’s really hard to get into Whole Foods,” she says.