Three Arlington businesses hosted local small businesses for a vendor event to benefit the Arlington Community Food Bank on Nov. 9.
“We’re hosting what’s called ‘Shop Local.’ It’s an event where myself, Trio Salon and Steins Taphouse and Minigolf are teaming up to promote local small businesses in Arlington and to help the community food bank,” said Jessica Johnston, owner of Arlington gym Rain City Fitness.
The three businesses, located in central Arlington near 204th Street, wanted to hold a vendor fair to promote small businesses and Arlington food bank officials thought it would be a good way to cross-promote.
“The food bank wanted to get more information about their needs out there and thought it was the perfect opportunity to just join up local forces,” said Johnston.
Johnston said she learned a lot about the local food bank after sitting down with them.
“They have 800 kids that they serve with their Christmas program, ‘A Christmas Wish,’ and close to 300 kids that don’t have a set home to go to at night,” she said.
She hopes the event supports them in their goal.
“As a business owner in Arlington and a mom of four children I think it is important to support the community and an organization that is doing the best they can,” she said.
As part of the event Johnston said the vendor fee was a donation to the food bank.
“Each vendor that is participating donated $25 to the food bank to do so and myself and Steins also donated $100 on top of that,” she said.
“Admission to get in for attendees is recommended three cans of nonperishable goods to donate to the food bank,” said Johnston.
She said that the event is going “amazing” and that they were able to attract a lot of participants.
“The 25 vendors are all women, often working moms,” said Johnston.
“I personally wanted to do some kind of vendor event because a lot of my clients have some sort of small business,” she said.
The idea got started by Trio Salon, she said.
“The owner of Trio Salon made a post one day saying she wanted to do an event like that one day, so we decided to team up,” said Johnston.
The ‘Shop Local’ event was also meant to draw attention to small businesses in central Arlington.
“I don’t mean this in a negative way, but I think a lot of attention gets put down on Olympic Avenue and the businesses that are there. Often it kind of draws attention from surrounding businesses,” said Johnston.
“Trio Salon has been here three years and Steins and I have been here for about a year, and we still get people coming down asking ‘how long have you been here,’” she said.
Johnston said she hopes that events like her ‘Shop Local’ vendor fair can highlight different areas of the city as well.