Continuing a trend that has been gaining steam throughout the pandemic, a large pop-up event was held at Tin Cup in Shafter, attracting over 50 vendors selling products from homemade baked goods, jewelry, plants, clothing and much more.
The event is just one of many pop-up events that have been held in Shafter and throughout Kern County, giving vendors a venue to display their wares.
At the beginning of the pandemic, with businesses being shut down, people being laid off or put out of work, a number of residents were facing the challenge of making ends meet with unemployment or looking for elusive jobs that were very scarce.
Faced by these challenges, a large number of residents decided to take matters into their own hands and started creating their own products, selling those items online or at pop-up events that were beginning to dot the landscape.
Included in this trend was Adrianna Pompa. Pompa was faced with the challenge of finding a skin product that she could use that wouldn't irritate her sensitive skin. Pompa decided to research her own recipes, trying to find products that would clean her skin without damaging her skin. Pompa started having success, creating her own products that worked for her, as well as the large number of people in similar situations, needing a safe and hypoallergic product to treat their skin. Pompa began making her own soaps, scrubs, loofas and candles, as well as making her own earrings.
Her popularity began growing, and this resulted in a successful business online and in-person, selling a variety of items that have given consumers options. Her products are now sold online, at pop-up events, through Instagram and at a flower shop in Shafter.
But hers was but one of the items available at the Shafter pop-up, along with food and music.
Another vendor at the event has been sharing her unique gift with the public and selling her amazing creations that she has made on paper, canvas and other mediums. Irma Ceja, who has been interested in art since she was 14, has turned her passion into a business, selling her artwork online, in person and at pop-up events such as this one.
Ceja displayed her works, with watercolors mixed with oil paintings, sketches and other creations. Ceja said that her inspirations for her creations come from a number of sources including television, online, scenes that she sees around town, as well as her heritage. "I am Hispanic, so my heritage has been a major influence on my work," said Ceja, who had a number of religious depictions on display, such as a piece that highlighted the Virgin Mary.
"I take inspiration from a lot of different places," said Ceja. She is a self-taught artist, not having any formal training during her career. In fact, she was once booted from an art class. "I was actually kicked out of class because I wasn't following the instructions that were given. I was doing the work in my own way and it didn't sit well with the instructor, so I was asked to leave."
Not being deterred, Ceja continued her artistic passion following her own inspirations and ways. Which is fortunate for her customers, who have benefited from her passion and inspiration that she has put into her creations.
Ceja said that she can be reached on her Instagram @_i.c and on her facebook at I.C. Illustrations.