By Dale Woodard on May 15, 2021.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiara Forsyth tries to keep things business as usual.
Forsyth, the owner of Sekhmet’s Emporium, was among the vendors set up for the first Lethbridge & District Exhibition annual Farmers’ Market of the season last weekend at the Lethbridge Exhibition Park South Pavilion.
Though this year’s farmers market – which will run every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Oct. 9 – is once again strictly adhering to all pandemic protocol with masked customers and sanitization stations as well as less vendors and more spacing between booths, Forsyth managed to keep things casual while being mindful of COVID rules.
“It’s just having the screen if you are not going to wear a mask all the time and wearing that mask when you’re with a customer,” she said. “I let people pick up my stuff. I don’t mind wiping things down when people are touching them. I try to keep it as normal as possible. This is uncomfortable for everybody, so I try to keep it so people can pick up the products, flip it over, look at it and get to know it before they buy it because most people are not just visual.”
Early on the second day of the market Saturday morning as shoppers started filing into the Exhibition Centre, Forsyth – who has been attending the farmers’ market for the past 13 years – noted one promising trend.
“A lot of us vendors who are not food items, we usually don’t get a lot of sales before 10 o’clock and a lot of the ones I have talked to so far are having those sales before 10. In all of the years I’ve done this, that’s fairly rare for all of us to be like that. So that’s good.”
While she was able to attend farmers’ markets last summer during the pandemic, Forsyth noted a lack of protocol consistency between the events that made it tough to adjust.
“Nobody knew what to do,” she said. “We had all of these restrictions we had to do (and) the next place over wasn’t doing any.”
But with the 2021 farmers’ market season underway, Forsyth still plans to hit the road for some events.
“I’m looking to see if Calgary Comic-Con is going ahead,” she said. “I have done it in the past. So I’m hoping it will go forward.”
However, last Saturday was about getting Sekhmet’s Emporium’s “best dragons ever” figurines on display.
“(I have) poly resin dragon figurines, fantasy decor, fairies and Egyptian Gods,” said Forsyth, who also provides essential oils, which she started selling at the farmers’ market 13 years ago.
“As I started to grow, I found fun things to sell alongside them,” she said. “People always ask me ‘What do you sell?’ and I tell them “Stuff I like.'”
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