OSCAR’S Market young entrepreneurs prepping for Rabbit Fest
By BRITTANY FHOLER
There will be two budding entrepreneur vendors at this year’s Rabbit Fest, joining dozens of other vendors for the four-day festival at City Park next weekend.
After winning the inaugural OSCAR’S Market last month, Riley Tomblin and Za’Corey Banks will be setting up their own booths at the festival and offering their special products.
Tomblin, owner of Inspired by Riley, won first place and a $300 scholarship at OSCAR’S Market.
She has been hard at work making new earrings and other jewelry items for Rabbit Fest. Tomblin said she is planning to bring around 500 pieces for this event and is working to replenish her stock of inventory following OSCAR’S Market.
“I’m excited,” Riley said.
She added this opportunity to have her jewelry on display and for sale at Rabbit Fest will help her grow her business and make it bigger. She added that she wants to earn more money to invest back into her business and has a goal of buying an iPad to use for her business.
She reinvested her proceeds and the $300 scholarship she won last month back into more supplies and business-related items, she added.
Her mom, Stacy Tomblin-Weaver, said she is very proud of Riley as she prepares for this big opportunity.
“I’m incredibly proud of her and all her hard work and just watching her grow and learn more about business and the work that it takes to go into it and all of the hard work she has put into this business,” Tomblin-Weaver said. “I think she's had a lot of growing pains over the last few weeks trying to make enough jewelry for this and just setting her sights as high as she can.”
Tomblin-Weaver encouraged people to come out and support both Riley and Za’Corey.
“We hope people come out and share in the tradition of Rabbit Fest and that they’ll come by and support both of the young entrepreneurs that worked so hard for OSCAR’S Market and are working hard on growing businesses and still learning,” she said.
Za’Corey, who is the owner of How the Cookie Crumbles Co., won second place and a $200 scholarship at OSCAR’S Market.
He said he is excited and has been hard at work putting together the cookie mixes and sprinkle mixes. He is planning to bring 100 of each cookie mix. How the Cookie Crumbles Co. offers four types of cookie mixes: Banana Pudding, Zen Sugar Cookie, Chocolate Overload and the Classic (Chocolate Chip).
He said he was grateful for the chance to have a spot at Rabbit Fest and was going to put the customer service skills he learned and used at OSCAR’S Market to use at the festival.
His mom, Chantel Banks, said that she was excited for Za’Corey. When he was selling at OSCAR’S Market, they hadn’t set a goal of him making it to Rabbit Fest, she added.
“It was more so getting the experience of how an event runs, and in a way, we were just happy that he got to experience it,” Chantel said. “I mean, in the end, we did want to win, but we weren’t trying to pressure him to make it super overwhelming.”
Chantel added that she knew Za’Corey would be successful when he first started his cookie business. She said she is proud of what he has accomplished.
“I’m proud of him for one, because it’s hard running a business as an adult, so as a child who's still doing stuff in school, I admire him for that, and it’s just getting ready, kind of putting the fire under us now because it's really close to the date,” Chantel said. “I’m just proud of him for continuing to stick to it and doing his best with it.”
How the Cookie Crumbles Co. will also be offering cookie cups, which are cookies crumbles and frosting, featuring some of the cookie mix flavors.
Prices for How the Cookie Crumbles will start at $2 and go up to $40. Cookie cups will be $7.
Rabbit Fest will run from Thursday, May 19 through Sunday, May 22, at City Park. Entry is $5 per carload. Wristbands for the carnival are $25 on Thursday and $30 Friday through Sunday.