An interview with an artist

A benefit of buying local is that you get to know the people providing your product. Jess Mikel, a vendor at the Provo Farmer’s Market, runs Yours Truly Dear with Darci Gardner.

The V: Do you use locally made materials to make your product?
Jess Mikel: Some of our materials are locally made. Or at least come from local stores, such as Heindselman’s Yarn Needlework. … We also like to reuse and upcycle materials as well.

V: Are you signed up to sell at the market every week?
JM: Every week except for two in July (the second and fourth week).

V: Why did you decide to sell your wares at the Provo Farmer’s Market as opposed to online or through another venue?
JM: We have an Etsy store … which we sell our products on, but we wanted to branch out to our local community as well. The Farmers Market has a really good environment where everyone is friendly and supportive. It really does feel like a community, and we wanted to get involved and get our name out there. Selling online is very different than selling to people face-to-face, and the experience has been great for us.

V: How do you feel when people you know who can afford to not shop at chain stores still go there instead of buying local product?
JM: Sometimes it is more convenient for people to go to chain stores, or they like having the brand name. Also, some people don’t really understand the implications of buying commercial verses local product. We aren’t offended or anything, but we do feel privileged to be part of something that supports the local economy. Hopefully by participating in the Provo Farmer’s Market we will be able to boost awareness of the market itself and in buying local.

V: What makes your products better than mass-produced items from chain stores?
JM: Each of our products are unique and one of a kind. … We say all our products are made with love. As a handmade product, the highest quality is involved in all of the work, and it will be something that is worn with both confidence and comfort. Also, we incorporate recycled, upcycled or vintage materials; you just can’t get that from mass-produced items.

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