By Rhyan Nile, Contributing Writer

Kern County Museum hosts its annual Village Flea Market, on Sunday, April 24th. Flea markets are a great excuse to come join the community in food, fun, and outdoor shopping. The market consisted of a variety of collection vendors with vintage goods, antiques, handmade items, and so much more. A lot of the vendors were family-owned and held sentimental value and can even give you a nostalgic feeling.

I had the privilege of walking around and talking to some of the local vendors to ask them about the story behind their shops and when their passion for what they do was born.

Zaena Araneta “Aranetazhandmadez” (Photo: Rhyan Nile)

Damsel pro-Patty Clark has been with the company Damsel in Defense for 8 ½ years. She started working with the company because her daughter was going off to college and as a mom, she wanted to make sure her daughter was safe and protected. Clark loves the products and appreciates the lifetime guarantee around them. The company offers top-of-the-line products, that includes, pepper spray that sprays out 16ft. Stun guns that require a pin to work, so if someone took it from you they couldn’t use it on you; and the company will also replace it at no cost. They have alarm systems for doors and windows. Wallets, purses, backpacks, keychains, and so much more. Clark stays booked and busy every weekend selling the products and ensuring safety for all. “It’s my passion to make sure that college students are safe,” said Clark.

Rebecca “Velvet Vintage” (Photo: Rhyan Nile)

Rebecca, the owner of Velvet Vintage Store, started her business in 2016. Rebecca has always had a love for all things 70s and with her sewing skills and her passion for fashion she was able to create her own business doing what she loves. “My passion is creativity. I love to sew, I love to paint, and I use creativity as my outlet” said Rebecca. She is known for her electric and cool style, specifically through her embellishing of band tees, such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Blondie.

Rebecca did not give up on herself and her dreams even though the weight of the world was on her shoulders. She found a way to provide a life for her children and herself. “I’m a single mother of 3, and I turned my passion into something that I could be proud of, and also support me and my family,” said Rebecca.

Zaena Araneta is the founder of Aranetazhandmadez, a jewelry shop that started as an outlet for grieving. Araneta lost her mother a year ago and making jewelry became her outlet. Araneta’s daughter noticed the beautiful pieces her mother was making and encouraged her to start selling them, so she did. Araneta has always had a passion for jewelry in hopes that it makes others smile just as much as it makes her smile. The jewelry is made with natural stones and wood due to its meaning and energy. All the stones are used to generate a type of energy that pertains to healing, such as protection, positivity, and anxiety. “I come out to vendor fairs and meet people and I get to celebrate with my mom in the process,” said Araneta. Aranetazhandmadez attends local pop-ups at least twice a month and is also on Etsy and Instagram under the same handle.

“Grandpa Shed” (Photo: Rhyan Nile)

Kay Philips with Grandpa Shed is a family-owned business started by his father John Philips. After Philips retired she fiddled around in the garage and found some antique items and old parts and decided to put them together to make something new. One-of-a-kind items that you can only get from Grandpa’s Shed. Kay loves helping her parents with the business and thinks these items are the coolest and believes everyone else will too. “My dad made an old lamp out of a gas pump handle. How many places do you see something like that?” said Philips.

The story behind each vendor is what makes every product sold so special. Having this time to bask in the celebration of passion, love, creativity, and people is worth more than anything else. Make sure to come out to future pop-ups and support the locals.

Instagram – Velvet Vintage

Instagram & Etsy – aranetazhandmadez Grandpa’s Shed – 661-333-1402