Why Essex? Essex Holiday Fair

Interview with Michelle Thibault, Event Founder

Are you looking for somewhere to pick up local gifts this weekend?  No need to travel, come and visit the Essex Holiday Fair this Saturday, December 1st from 10 AM-3 PM at the Essex High School.  This three-year-old fair has quickly grown to be one of the largest in the area, with approximately 125 vendors.  The Fair also raises thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society.  According to one recent review, “[The Essex Holiday Fair is a] Great place to do your Christmas shopping done while supporting local business people AND raising money for the ACS.”

Event founder Michelle braved a snowy afternoon the day before Thanksgiving to come and chat with me.  Michelle is a mother, marketing professional with CPA Site Solutions, and designs jewelry with a business she started, Vermont Jewelry Creations.  All three of her roles have helped her to grow the event to what it is today.

The Fair is a family-run event, and Michelle’s mother and sister are instrumental in making the show happen.  She also enlists local community groups, such as the girl scouts, to be event “helpers.”  As a crafter herself, Michelle has a unique understanding of what can make an event a positive experience for all.  Volunteers are on hand to help crafters set up, watch their tables while they grab some lunch, and check in with them periodically during the event.  Michelle also reviews her vendor list carefully to ensure that each one is different enough to provide a unique offering to shoppers.  This results in a more pleasant experience for shoppers and vendors alike.

Michelle and I had a lot of fun talking shop about marketing during our meeting.  As the marketing person for an online-based company, Michelle has a strong understanding of the role of social media in attracting a younger crowd.  She closely monitors the event’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/essexholidayfairsunflowers/) and provides lots of information on vendors and photos to get shoppers excited for the big day.

Why Essex? “Essex is who I am.  It is where I grew up, and I believe that it is an extraordinary community.” –Michelle Thibault

Why Essex? is a weekly(ish) column highlighting the people and places that make Essex an interesting and special place. Have an idea for the column? E-mail Darby Mayville at darby@ essexjunction.org.

Photo Credits: Michelle Thibault