For all the vendors at the Flex Farmer’s Market on Saturday, their personal businesses were out on display for the rest of PLNU to enjoy. This market included something for everyone: homemade crafts, free massages, free acai bowls and a petting zoo. This popular event only happens twice a year and leaves us students wondering why don’t we get to shop locally more often?
It seems like the reason why Flex Farmers Market only occurs once a semester is because of the PLNU student policy that states students cannot run businesses out of dorms. However, “Flex works because it’s not in the dorm rooms, it’s out of student living space,” says Jake Gilbertson, Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life. “Part of the concern is controlling and monitoring the impact the business has on the other students. For example, we don’t want operating a business in a tight space impacting the living space of that person’s roommates.”
Despite the policy, there are tons of businesses that began and transpired well before the Flex Farmer’s Market. Kate Smith, freshman graphic design major, says, “I love what I do. I’ve been doing my calligraphy and design business since I was like 13. The biggest sale time is during Christmas because I do calendars for the new year. The Farmer’s market has been really good for business.”
Some first-time vendors simply participated in the market because it was fun and creative experience versus a business venture. Jeffrey Carr, a senior media communications major, created a homemade slime business and sold essential oil colored slime.“This is my first time selling here. This slime selling is a one-time thing unless it hits off and I become PLNU’s slime master. Honestly, I’ve been getting into Youtube lately and I was inspired by the destressing slime videos and came up with the idea for my booth,” says Carr.
Similar to Carr, Annalee Sasahara, graphic design major, was a long time farmer’s market attendee and had a fun idea she wanted to share. Sasahara’s booth, “Fish and Chips,” consisted of her selling goldfish in small bowls with chips and guac. “I first tried to do hermit crabs, but then found out that wasn’t allowed, so we went with fish. I think it’s so fun to have a pet or a friend in your room so we tried to make it accessible to all Loma students,” says Sasahara.
Rule or no rule, the Flex Farmer’s market promotes PLNU’s entrepreneurs and creatives to work on their dreams.