Summer market in Ashfield gave local kids chance to buy, sell

  • Nicole Drury samples handmade wares with her son Noah, 2, during the Kid's Market put on by Ashfield Hardware and Supply on Main Street every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the summertime. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • The Kid's Market put on by Ashfield Hardware and Supply on Main Street every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the summertime. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Sally Yates, left, peruses handmade jewelry and baked goods for sale by sisters Lucie Hall, 13, middle, and Celeste Hall, 15, right, during the Kid's Market put on by Ashfield Hardware and Supply on Main Street every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the summertime. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Penny Wallick, 9, and her grandmother Susan Todd sell handmade items during the Kid's Market put on by Ashfield Hardware and Supply on Main Street every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the summertime. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Handmade items for sale during the Kid's Market put on by Ashfield Hardware and Supply on Main Street every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the summertime. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

For the Recorder
Published: 9/1/2021 2:45:41 PM

ASHFIELD— This summer, tables of young entrepreneurs sat from about 4 until 6 p.m. every Wednesday in front of the Belding Memorial Library, selling a plethora of homemade and homegrown items.

From flowers and eggs, to lemonade and brownies, local kids tried their hand at buying, selling and socializing at the market sponsored by the Ashfield Hardware & Supply Co.

“I’ve learned how to deal with and spend my money. I’ve also learned how to sell and be social,” Izaya Romer, 12, said of his four-year experience at the market.

Romer’s table boasted indoor plants, garlic and lemon bars. Romer not only grew the garlic, but also transplanted the plants and baked the lemon bars with a recipe he learned from his mom.

Kids of varying market experience were welcome to join every week. Like Izaya, Layla Derry, 8, is what some could call a seasoned professional. Layla has been selling at the market since she was 3, and this summer worked a table with her 4-year-old sister, Charlotte.

“We always do all of this, plus tattoos,” Layla said, gesturing to their Rice Krispie treats and small clay figurines. “Tattoos is an easy thing and often people get two so we could both do one on people’s hand.”

“I like when people come here and buy stuff, but mostly at the end because sometimes I get to donate to the animal shelter,” Layla said.

Her mom, Katie Derry, had just as much of a positive outlook on the market as her daughters. 

“I really did it for social reasons at first. Layla used to be shy,” Derry said, noting the market has not only been supportive of her daughters’ social skills, but of their learning, as well.

 Another mother of a young entrepreneur, Ariel Brooks said she saw this as a positive endeavor for her 7-year-old daughter, Anne. 

“She’s been having a great time,” Brooks said of Anne’s experience learning how to present and make items. 

“You have to have a lot of community fabric and community participation to make it work,” she continued.

Ashfield has that, she said, as the town has been nothing but supportive of the market.

Anne switched up her specialty each Wednesday. In past weeks, she sold painted rocks, bookmarks and custom rubber band bracelets (her favorite). She recently sold chewy coconut macarons — gluten-free to cater to her grandma, who was coming to visit that night. 

“I like making things to sell,” Anne said. “And, I’m saving up for a dog.”

While many kids have enjoyed the act of selling the most, it’s been different for A.J. Redeker, 9. He liked selling, but said that being able to look around to see what other kids like to do has also been a fun experience.

On A.J.’s table were apple blondies, chocolate chip cookies and whoopie pies, of which his mom, Amie Redeker, said were an effort of teamwork between her, AJ and his younger brother, Ben (7). 

“We all worked together to make the products, it’s been really fun,” A.J. said. “I think they’ve already met a lot of new kids. As far as the selling, the math and seeing the different things that people want [go, this] has been great for them.”

That same teamwork connected many of the tables, whether that be between siblings or friends. Another sibling duo, Zavel (10) and Lui (8) Gardner from Plainfield, sold fresh eggs from their farm, along with homemade picture frames and pretzels, among other things. Their favorite part about this market was “being able to, during COVID, see a bunch of other kids and interact with them,” Zavel said.

“It’s really important for me that they learn to be independent,” their mother, Beth-Marie Gardner said. The market has helped with that with regard to their organization capabilities, since putting a table and products together takes significant forethought.

“I had nothing to do with this; it was all their idea,” Gardner said. “They love it. They’re desperate for opportunities to make a little business, and it’s empowering for them.”


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