Holiday gift ideas: Altoona shop carries 100% local items

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ALTOONA, Iowa — Buying from local vendors obviously helps more of your money stay in the community, but another thing people often forget is the original and unique items you can get when you shop locally. 

The owner of JNM Marketplace, Madison Lukehart said that just a month ago when they opened they had 19 vendors and by the end of next week they will have 40 and still have room to grow.

“I just wanted a place to showcase as many people as possible. And then when I brought it to the management at the mall, they loved the idea and wanted to work with me to make it happen,” Lukehart said.

After hosting vendor markets for three years, Lukehart found her passion in supporting local vendors and opened a storefront in October.

With something for everyone and a price range anywhere from $1 to $50 she said it can be your one-stop-shop for gifts this season. 

Along with taking custom orders and really listening to the needs of their customers, shopping closely with local vendors often results in friendships, shared stories, and most of all genuine appreciation, said vendor, Sallie Smith. 

“I mean, you just get out and you meet new people and you get to sell your wares. I’m still very humbled by the compliments and by people who enjoy my product. When people give me compliments and get so excited about my product, it just makes me more motivated to continue to improve my product and to come up with new ideas for the public,” said Smith.

For more information on products, vendor names, and exact location you can find more information here.

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