Liberty students highlight community and creativity by launching monthly Lynchburg Market
What started as a chance meeting at the Jerry Falwell Library and conversations about photography turned into a monthly gathering of local creatives and venders in downtown Lynchburg.
Liberty freshmen Macy Moreheart and Lee Patton are the creative geniuses behind the quickly-growing Lynchburg Market. The mission of the market is to build a space for community and familiarity among creative people in Lynchburg.
With a shared love of photography, the two students knew that they wanted to collaborate to develop a business that encouraged artistic expression and built community in the Lynchburg area.
“We are very much creative people – we are both photographers, so we had the same mindset.” Moreheart said. “One day we were talking and thought it would be a unique experience to see a group of local businesses come together in
However, rather than join an already saturated local market with a business of their own, the pair decided to embark on a new journey: the Lynchburg Market. The market, held at Atelier Studio, provides a space for different vendors to set up a booth or table. People can then walk around the studio and shop as well as interact with the minds behind
“Why don’t we take businesses around campus that inspired us and take them and bring them all into one space?” Patton said. “It is much easier for us to support these businesses rather than create our own.”
Held monthly, each market features unique offerings and vendors, such as popular Christian clothing brand Chvrch Apparel. Moreheart and Patton work diligently to bring in the right vendors and talents and to imagine new ways to utilize the gift of the market to support the community.
Starting in March, singers and musicians will be performing at the market as a way to set the atmosphere and gain experience performing and building a following. Moreheart and Patton hope to only see more growth in the future.
“It has been really inspiring to see not just our friends and family support us, but our school and community (also get) behind our mission statement,” Moreheart said. “The growth of the market isn’t just a benefit to us – (it’s) valuable for the community and the businesses.”
A majority of the featured vendors were previously only operational online. By being a part of the market, they are able to take their product directly to their customers and interact with the people supporting their brands.
“We are building a familiarity between the creatives, the entrepreneurs and the artists with the people they are trying to reach.” Patton said. “They can feel and see the products rather than only viewing them online, which brings people back to the market again and again and helps build brand loyalty.”
Having a place for all types of people to come together and celebrate the diverse talents and abilities that represent Lynchburg has positively impacted the area, bringing in a wide variety of people every month.
Liberty students, Lynchburg natives and University of Lynchburg students are all a part of the market, which provides Moreheart, Patton and the vendors with opportunities to be a light to the “Hill City.” “The Lynchburg Market is not a Christian brand, but Christians are running it,” Patton said. “We run an ethical business and try to display the gospel through our business practices and the positive culture we promote, and we recognize this market would not be possible on our power alone.”
The next market will be held March 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Atelier Studio on Madison Avenue. Keep up with the Lynchburg Market on their Instagram page @lyhmkt.
Drexel is a feature reporter. Follow her on Twitter.