What: HOLIDAY MAKERS MARKET – Inaugural Event at The West Events
When: Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 11 am to 3 pm (VIP Hour: 10-11 am)
Where: The West Events (Area’s Newest Event Space), 13435 Gulf Boulevard, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Cost: $5 – General Admission (Includes FREE tote bag) | $10 At the Door
$20 – VIP (Includes VIP Hour from 10-11 AM, (1) Drink Ticket, and Tote Bag)
The Independent Business Alliance, Keep Saint Petersburg Local (KSPL), is thrilled and honored to be co-presenting the inaugural event to be held at the area’s newest event space, The West Events. The Holiday Makers Market provides an opportunity for locals on the beaches to shop for handmade gifts from 30 indie artists, artisans and makers, including beach-based businesses. Attendees will be the first to experience this beautiful, new venue designed by Zazoo’d. As they shop, they can also enjoy a Beer, Bubbles & Wine Bar, music by DJ SugarBear, a Photo Wall and Holiday Vibes.
The West Events comprises the building that locals once knew as the Blue Ribbon Laundry, as well as the space once held by Kelly’s–the oldest bar on the beach. Owners, Michele Smith, a two-time Olympic gold-medalist, and Laurie Davidson-Smith, are no strangers to seeing the potential in preserving historic buildings that others deem derelict. It was this drive to preserve and revitalize that led Smith and Davidson-Smith to purchase The Coral Lee Motel and Apartments on Sunset Beach in 2015, then a ramshackle relic of Old Florida, and transform it into what is now the Sunset Inn and Cottages. They took the same approach to invest in the renovation of a former gas station in the Grand Central District, which now houses Urban Brew and BBQ. They are also co-owners of 6West Beach Cottages, which, just steps away from The West Events site, will provide guests with potential lodging accommodations in conjunction with the use of the event space. The co-owners, along with business partner Paul Ingledue, have preserved the building’s original, exposed brick walls, and have restored the concrete floors. The Holiday Makers Market will also make use of the venue’s indoor-outdoor bar area and open courtyard.
Co-owner of The West Events, Laurie Davidson-Smith remarked, “We’re excited to be partnering with Keep Saint Petersburg on the first event to be held here. Not only does it provide us with an opportunity to unveil the space to the community, but having a Makers Market as our debut also allows us to support fellow small, local businesses, and help fellow residents keep it local for the holidays.”
KSPL Founder/Executive Director, Olga Bof, added, “We’re absolutely thrilled and honored to be co-presenting the opening event. Whereas we’ve focused on the city of St. Petersburg since we launched our Alliance, we’ve wanted to help #KeeptheBeachesLocal for many years. Our grassroots non-profit’s limited resources hadn’t allowed for that to happen yet. We’re so grateful to The West Events’ owners for offering us this first foray on the beaches. We’ve noted that many events on the beaches appear to cater to tourists. We’re eager to help beach residents source local, and handmade gifts for the holidays. We’ve tried to include several businesses that are beach-based among the vendors too, so that this feels authentically local, and also helps support businesses that are neighbors to The West Events (some examples: Beach Signs and Designs, Indian Shores Coffee, Island Thyme Soap Company, Off the Grid IRB, Salty Sisters Gourmet Popcorn). We’re so proud that our events in St. Pete have always been embraced and enjoyed. We can’t wait to introduce a KSPL event to the beaches.”
About Keep Saint Petersburg Local:
Keep Saint Petersburg Local is a non-profit organization, affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance, working to build a thriving local economy and a unique community. The Alliance does this by nurturing connections for and acting as the voice of locally-owned, independent businesses and by raising awareness of the importance of buying local.
About Local Businesses:
Independent, locally-owned businesses are essential to a vital local economy and community character. They use the goods and services of other local businesses. They’re owned by our friends and neighbors, or maybe even you (they employ our friends and neighbors too). Community-serving businesses are the backbone of local economies, civic life, local charities and wealth creation for millions of citizens, as well as a training ground for future generations of entrepreneurs.
The problem is that today, independent businesses face unprecedented competition from larger chain competitors, internet merchants and franchises that enjoy national or international branding power and major economies of scale. As a result, community-based businesses comprise a smaller portion of our economy than ever before. We’ll lose much more than places to shop, dine or do business if we allow current trends to continue.