Inaugural 618 Day event spotlights Edwardsville area businesses

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EDWARDSVILLE – The warm weather didn’t stop the community from supporting local businesses on the first 618 Day on Saturday.

Mary Doerry, owner of Love Local STL and organizer of the event, said 618 Day would be the first in a long series. She said she was focused on promoting local businesses and after living 314 days in St. Louis thought to herself, “Why aren’t we doing this here? “

Doerry hopes to host the event, which included activities on Fridays and Saturdays, at various locations in Area 618 over the next several years.

“The Edwardsville community is great and we really love supporting the people of the area,” said Brittany Sarhage, owner of Rudy’s Flower Truck.


“It was fun,” Sarhage said, as she and Maddie Harres tied bouquets for patrons during the festival. “People came to ask us questions about our business. And we’re really excited to have the music.

Longtime Edwardsville native Lexy Schlemer kicked off the event with live music as several vendors sold products and other groups promoted nonprofits in the pop-up market, the everything between First to the Finish and Global Brew Tap House on Ironworks Square in Edwardsville.

“We’re so happy to be able to get a group of companies together and support everyone,” said Kelsey, one of the vendors.

“They wanted to create a place where businesses could show off their products and interests, and a family friendly place,” she said.

Alex Harding and Cait Barnes were there to support their friends who were selling items in the pop-up market.

“This is what it is about,” Harding said, “supporting our friends.”

Valerie Goldkamp, ​​whose husband is Doerry’s brother, was excited about the event for a number of reasons.

“I’m so proud of her (Mary Doerr) for bringing it all together. There are a lot of local businesses, and everyone has come together to support the community, ”she said.

“It’s very hot,” said Gianna, Valerie’s daughter. “But it’s been good – I like the stuff.”

Gianna wasn’t the only one worried about the heat. Several other participants commented on the weather.

Alison Hill, owner of Leslie Avenue Candle Company, has spent a lot of time keeping her soy candles from sweating in the heat.

However, buyers kept coming in.

“It’s awesome, such a fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon,” said Kathie Opal while shopping at Carrie’s Nail Squad. Carrie Sitton, owner of the nail salon, said the event was “one of the best pop-ups of this year.”

Many of the companies are based online and sell products in stores or at pop-up events like 68 Day. For many companies, the event was one of their first supplier fairs.

Poppy Picnics launched last spring after Emma Books and her mother Sam Phillips spent the winter working on the new business. The duo create ephemeral picnics for date nights, birthdays and other social events. Emma first saw a similar business in California and decided to set it up in the Edwardsville area. She believes the concept will be successful, especially for those who are still wary of COVID-19, as people don’t have to go beyond their backyards.

Stephanie Rea, owner of Mmi Design Studio, said she was only able to sell to three fairs last year due to pandemic restrictions. The company will celebrate its first anniversary this week.

“I’m so happy to be here, it’s a great event,” Rea said. “We’re local – from Edwardsville – so it’s always good to do something here in town.”

Adam Micun from 618 Nutrition shared Stéphanie’s feelings. Located on Route 159 in Edwardsville, 618 Nutrition sells protein shakes, energy tea, meal replacements and other healthy drinks. 618 Nutrition began planning its activities during the pandemic and only opened in February.

“Our response from the community has been amazing – we’ve been blown away from the opening,” said Micun.

For Micun, it wasn’t just his business on Saturday.

“We have so many great companies here today,” he said.

The event was not just for businesses. Ashley Swip, organizer of the local association 3 Little Birds 4 Life had a tent where visitors could learn more about the association. 3 Little Birds 4 Life celebrates the victories of adult cancer patients through personalized gift baskets and surprise celebrations. Anyone who stopped by the tent could decorate a sign for the surprise celebrations, where community members are invited to come out and show their support and cheers for cancer patients who have won a victory in their recovery. .

A group of Trojan women came to the area for the evening and found out about the event.

“It was a happy accident!” the group accepted.

The event was sponsored by Rise Marketing Solution, Instaglow spa and permanent makeup, Gabi & Grace, Bank of Madison County, 1818 Chophouse, Turn Modern, Crossfit 557, Whitetail Interior design, Country Financial Kim Doerr and Love Local Stl.

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