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Vendors 'pop up' at Gathering

Since the COVID-19 pandemic reared its head a few years ago, pop-up events have been dotting the landscape, giving local residents an outlet for their passions and giving them economic stability.

Examples abounded on Saturday with a pop-up event held in Shafter at a local church. More than 30 vendors were on hand, selling their wares, from baked goods to clothing and jewelry. One example was Cakes by Karen. Karen Cabrera creates cakes, cupcakes, cookies, all made to order.

She had a storefront in Wasco until three years ago, when she left her building and went out on her own. It has been a challenge but she has thrived the past three years, selling her creations via Instagram and online. "We make everything from cookies to cakes, and cheesecakes, all of them custom made to order," said Cabrera.

There were also regulars of the pop-up circuit on hand, including Haley Plaza, who always has a long line at her Baked From Home breads. Plaza makes several kinds of bread, and she also makes her own flavor-infused olive oils. Plaza is also working on getting her licensing that will enable her to be a part of Farmers Markets and the Cottage Bakery events.

Along with Plaza was Adrianna Pompa. Pompa began her business a few years ago when she became frustrated by not being able to find skin care products that didn't irritate her sensitive skin. She researched different combinations and ended up creating her own line of soaps, scrubs, and other products for the skin. She also now has lip-care products and she also makes her own jewelry as well.

A lot of the vendors do these businesses in addition to a 9-5 job, while others make this their primary income. "It really depends on how far you want to go with it," said Monica Hernandez, who makes her own bracelets, charms, and necklaces. "I like to do this in my spare time, but other vendors do this as a full-time job, which is great being able to do something you love to do for a living."


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