By Skylla Mumana | Reporter
The Gypsy Hearts Market made its debut in Waco Friday at the Waco Convention Center. The market featured numerous businesses who sold unique, homemade products, such as hand-painted artisan jewelry, healing crystals, children’s books that have been refurbished and turned into journals, silverware jewelry and much more.
Originating in Glen Rose, the Gypsy Hearts Market was founded by wife and mother of three, Sami Smothers. She wanted to give Texans a unique opportunity to support smaller businesses and to expand their horizons, the website said.
“My goal is to bring the best of the best shopping experience to our customers, also to allow small businesses to grow and get noticed,” the website said.
Carol Casey, the founder and current owner of Vunkology, a business specializing in creating vintage-inspired artwork, left corporate life eight years ago to pursue her art full time. Casey creates each of her eclectic pieces by hand, reproducing them to show fun graphics, music scores, advertisements and other nostalgic media from decades ago.
The business name, Vunkology, stems from the company’s mandate, which is to show the public how valuable forgotten items can be.
“It’s vunk, valuable junk. Not just pathetic junk,” Casey said. “No one wants to buy pathetic junk.”
Some vendors utilized this event to show off their unique food products, such as the company P.D.Q. meals. P.D.Q., standing for Pretty Darn Quick, is a food company that specializes in providing pre-packaged casseroles, amongst other foods, to the public for quick, painless meal preparation. Spanning three generations of women, P.D.Q. is family owned and packages their food with instructions, seasonings and a shelf-life of over two years.
Linda McKethan, local Waco author and retired magazine editor, is a first-time vendor at the Gypsy Hearts Market. She came to the market to promote her two novels, “Queen Texas,” a historical romance set in 1894 Waco and “The Short List,” a thriller-mystery about a serial killer plaguing Georgetown. As a self-published author, she decided the Gypsy Hearts Market was a good starting point for her to sell her books.
“I’ve never gone to anything like this [as an author],” McKethan said. “I’ve gone to things like this as a participant over the years. I thought that this was something that I could focus on and get people to see my book.”
The Gypsy Hearts Market allowed for many vendors in Waco to show off their creative treasures and catch the eye of new customers in the area.