This year’s fall season Country Market Days will be the largest in its five-year history as an outlet for local artisans to sell their works by the historical Thomas Mercantile property on Old Highway 35 in Livingston.
“Every year we grow and this year we’re expecting over 70 vendors.” said Thomas Mercantile owner and Country Market Days founder, Terri Smith. “We even have somebody coming from as far as Birch Tree, Missouri because they heard about our market.”
More local artisans come from all over East Texas to showcase and sell their small-batch foods and handcrafted works. These include vintage finds, handmade jewelry, soaps and lotions, yard art, unique gifts and home decor, clothing and more. According to Smith, Country Market Days includes the most eclectic mix of specialized vendors in the area.
“It’s all handmade and high-quality goods that our vendors sell.” said Smith. “We want people to be able to buy nice gifts for their loved ones or for themselves. We also want them to just enjoy the atmosphere because it’s not typical of a market. You’re shopping literally in the woods and in the backyard here.”
The event will take place Friday-Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 2464 Old Highway 35 North in Livingston.
Market Days initially started as a 20-vendor promotional event for the Thomas Mercantile gift shop, which was reopened by Smith in 2009 to help preserve the store’s history. However, the event has also become a favorite show among local crafters looking for a way to promote and sell their goods.
“I’m the fourth generation to own the shop. We’re off the beaten path here next to the railroad track, but I had to do something.” said Smith. “So I just reopened it as a gift shop on a whim and moved here full time from Deer Park. It turned into full time work and I had to start thinking of things to do that would bring people into the shop. I also noticed there was a lot of local people coming in asking about consignments and if I could sell [their goods.] So I thought there was need for local artisans to be able to show their stuff.”
Smith is continuing to expand the available space at the wooded property to host many more artisans in the years to come. Local vendors who are interested in reserving a spot for a future event or for more information on Country Market Days, call (936) 967-5333.