Greener BeeGreen LivingReusing the Past: Green Living Market springs up in Ridgeway

RIDGEWAY– Kerri Carter, event organizer of the biannual Green Living Market, said approximately 3,000 people have set foot in the meadow on Wind Dancer Lane so far this weekend. 

The fourth show of its kind, the open air market hosts 50 vendors with a range of items. From antique dowry chests dating back to the turn of the century to blacksmithing objects forged before one’s eyes, consumers have a variety of wares to choose from.

“We’ve got a lot of locals and local businesses here today,” Carter said on Friday, adding that most have roots in Virginia and North Carolina. “There are antiques, vintage items, restyled, repurposed and upcycled furniture, handmade blankets, baby clothes, jewelry.”

Having a little something for everyone, Carter felt that’s why folks kept coming back.

“It’s awesome,” Carter said. “You can find things here that you can’t find anywhere else. Antique things, different things.”

Carla Puccio, owner of Uptown Collection, ran a booth that held the same title as her Martinsville store.

Her third time at the Green Living Market, Puccio knew just what to bring to draw people to her tent.

“Because this is a vintage show, I brought some vintage things, some handcrafted things,” Puccio said. “I like to say I’ve got a little bit of everything for everybody.”

With items priced competitively, Puccio said she sold her pieces at “getting-an-apartment-ready prices.”

Victoria Foster of Pandora’s Box and Victor Kaczor of Kaczor’s Antiques manned a booth together. While Kaczor specialized in furniture, Foster sold ornate pieces of costume jewelry, vintage and antique purses and vintage hats.

While Foster humorously summed up her booth as “anything you think you don’t want or don’t need,” she said she thoroughly enjoyed setting up shop at the open air market.

“You meet so many people and you’re out here in the outdoors rain or shine,” Foster said.

A collector all her life, Foster enjoyed passing on her finds to others who also fell in love with the items.

“I’ve always found it fascinating, old things, the history behind them,” Foster said.


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Chris and Laura Hausler stopped at the Green Living Market on their way up the East Coast from Florida.

Amie Knowles

Another vendor, owner of The Sow’s Ear Forge, also had a fondness for history, which helped him get into his career as a blacksmith.

Wanting to become a historical interpreter, Jon Butler learned about the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program at the University of Virginia, which pairs experienced master artists with gifted apprentices for one-on-one training opportunities.

Ever a crafter, Butler jumped on the opportunity.

Not only did he find a love for the art, but he also found a unique purpose for the skill.

“Think about it. You’re stressed out, maybe a little angry. It’s a great stress reliever,” Butler said as he hammered away at an on-site anvil.

Showcasing an array of dinner triangles, door knockers, bottle openers, pot hanging racks and walking sticks with unique handles, Butler said, “I like to make nice things.”

Frank Lawson has also been a tinkerer for most of his life.

With a knack for making old things new again, the gears in Lawson’s mind started turning when he got a good deal on a large saw blade.

While most people might imagine what all they could cut with the flat circular object with rigid outer teeth, Lawson thought of what he could make directly out of the saw itself.

He asked a talented friend to paint the top of the blade and gave him full reign on the style, only telling the friend that he intended to make the piece into a table. The friend came up with an intricate country scene that went continuously around the blade, paying careful attention to ensure every diner would have an upright picture in front of them.

“Anywhere you are at the table, you’re not looking at it upside-down,” Lawson said.

Once he received the painted piece, Lawson got to work on the rest of the table. He created a base out of wagon wheels and cast iron braces and put links around the blade’s pointy edges.

Lawson also made hanging lights out of farm equipment pieces and benches out of bed frames.

Treasures abounded at the Green Living Market, a few of which will soon make their way down the east coast.

Laura Hausler and Chris Hausler of Florida just so happened to be driving through the area when they saw signs for the Green Living Market.

“We found some things to decorate the house,” Chris said.

Laura enjoyed walking around the stop on their no-destination trip.

“It’s nice,” Laura said about the market. “I found a decanter.”

Wendy Sheppard also found an item she couldn’t live without, a windup bedside alarm clock.

“I’ve always wanted one,” Sheppard said of her five dollar purchase.

The shopper also snagged a painted owl entryway hanging and a gift for another individual.

Finding treasures throughout the field, shoppers and vendors alike are now looking forward to the fall market, which is scheduled for October. An exact date has not been set as of yet. The market is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. today at 840 Wind Dancer Lane. 

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