A serendipitous introduction between Heather Schwab and Sue Bogdanski resulted in an extraordinary business collaboration called Unique and Chic Marketplace in Mauldin, SC. In September 2017, the business partners opened the store that sells handmade art, treasures, and furniture created by local vendors. To celebrate our creative community, they will be hosting an exciting event in the parking lot next to Deal Mart on Saturday, April 28th 10 am – 4 pm. Attendees can browse hand crafted jewelry, soaps, candles, and décor while listening to free live music by the Wailin’ Thorns! Admission won’t cost a thing, there will be a free kid’s craft and raffle giveaway. Guests should come hungry and buy lunch from tasty food trucks including Wholy Smoke, Meat’n In The Middle, Low Country Bakes, Snow Castle, and more! Cool trinkets, gifts, and art will also be available for purchase by all merchants. About 50 vendors will display their talents indoors and outdoors including Liberty Designs, Fresh Scent Soy Candle, Whoo Art, Eclectic Adventures, A Creative Hand, Black Dog Pottery, Heartmade Naturals, Jewels of the Moon, and The Tinkering Hammer. It will be a fun filled day for locals to shop at the spring pop up market underneath southern skies and warm temperatures!
Destiny had a special destination designated for Sue when she moved from Michigan to the Greenville area. With her husband and three kids including Alex, Brian, and Charlie, they moved to Holly Tree. Next door, Heather lives with her husband, Dennis, and two children Peyton and Nick. In the past, both ladies had been down different career routes. Previously, Heather was a teacher and Sue had been a pastry chef. Though Sue still has a side catering business and is affectionately known locally as The Cake Lady, she developed another passion – revitalizing old furniture. Heather had already transitioned from teacher to furniture restoration designer. Once the two neighbors shared a love for artistic antiquing, the rest perfectly fell into place like a well-told story.
Heather started finding old pieces of furniture and redesigning them in 2012. She sold the pieces in her garage until someone she knew approached her about renting a space in Mauldin. Sue teamed up with her and they both sold furniture pieces in a small section of the store. It was a shared space with a man who sold his own creations. Eventually, their business outgrew the rented spot and the building owner graciously moved out. An idea crossed Heather’s mind – she wanted to give other creators a place to sell items. However, she didn’t know enough artisans to fill the building. Little-by-little, customers would come in to buy furniture and would mention they knew local crafters who had a similar need. One thing led to another, and they opened their arms to other vendors. Now, the Mauldin community has access to special products, “Its unique items that you can’t find anywhere else. All handmade,” Sue says.
There are so many benefits for vendors who choose to join the Unique And Chic Marketplace family. Heather and Sue can relate to others who may struggle with sales of handcrafted treasures, “We want this to be a community, not a competition,” Heather says. Vendors don’t have to work at their space to sell items, they can take their products out anytime for shows, and they don’t have to maintain areas or keep them clean. Artists are charged a fair booth rental fee and everything else is taken care of by the business owners. Heather and Sue want to help others grow their businesses too, “The whole purpose is for small shops and local artists to get recognition. It’s their business inside our business,” Heather says. They have limited space available for the store and the event, so they encourage anyone to reach out for a saved space.
From pillow creations and wooden signs to copper jewelry, Unique And Chic Marketplace truly offers one-of-a-kind products. Many items are customizable for customers or can be bought as is. Workshops are also available for locals to learn how to make jewelry, furniture techniques, signs and more! Join their email list by visiting their website at https://uniqueandchicmarketplace.com/ or become a Facebook follower to learn about new events.
Support local creative talent and stop in at Unique And Chic Marketplace. Hours of operation are Wednesday – Friday 10:30 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 10:30 am – 2 pm. Or join crowds at the uniquely southern pop up market on April 28th 10 am – 4 pm. Call 864-252-8654 for more information or visit the shop at 206 New Neely Ferry Road Mauldin, SC 29662. The marketplace is not your cookie cutter franchise store; it’s a place uniquely local with beautifully finished products that are affordable, “The quality is much higher than you’re going to get anywhere else. It’s real wood and real iron,” Heather says. The best part is – neighbors, friends and family handcrafted every item with love and creative passion. ♦