EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene Holiday Market marks its 34th year of exchanging their creativity with the public through local vendors. Online sales, however, enabled a special vendor to leave her day-to-day job.
She tells her experience and how our culture is more influenced by buying local than you might expect.
“It’s kind of amazing when you can make a living by selling your work,” said Lara Howe, a seller. “It’s a big deal because most of us, our art is who we are. It’s not just about a paycheck, we can’t stop doing what we’re doing, and it’s like breathing.”
She says her work still lives on the internet thanks to technology and can be purchased at the touch of the hand of anyone.
“I guess internet made me worldwide and now I’m a global model,” she stated. “I’ve sent them to Tel Aviv, Israel as near to California, here in Oregon but now I’m sending all over the globe, it’s opened up a whole new experience.” Due to this journey, she’s been able to make a living out of art she’s studied in fifth grade home economics. Nine years ago, online sales became a turning point. “It’s rising sales that are positive for our artists, the bottom line is that’s just my money,” Howe said. “I’m leaving my day job to do that full time because I’ve been making more of my work.” While she’s able to share her art around the world, she’s spent her weekends selling locally.
“It’s so important to shop locally,” said Vanessa Roy, Eugene Saturday Market’s Marketing Director. “These are the people who pay taxes in your society, those are the people who have kids in your schools, and these are the people who control your fire department, your police department.
Every time you shop locally with your friends and neighbors, all that money stays in your community and makes your community better. “Local artists are gaining support locally and competing in a worldwide digital market. Now, if you skipped Friday’s market, you can arrive on Saturday or Sunday. Sellers will be here from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and over the next three weekends, as well as on 23 and 2 December.