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2024 The Face of Small Business

Karli Millspaugh began as a local vendor who refinished antique furniture, participating in outdoor craft markets. She was commonly asked, “Where’s your store?” and “Where can I find your products all the time?”

Everyone loves pop-ups and farmers markets, but this type of shopping experience can limit the creators and the shoppers who aren’t able to find these special local items when they need them. After seeing the need in the community, Millspaugh rented a small space inside a brick-and-mortar store. In 2017, Millspaugh became a business partner in that brick-and-mortar. In 2019, as the sole owner, she rebranded it to Curate: A Local Mercantile. In 2020, she became the owner of the popular Makers Market stores in Park Meadows Mall and Southwest Plaza Mall, and the Orchard Farmers Market.

“I love when a customer comes into our stores and they are awestruck…They thought they had to go to a craft fair or on Etsy,” Millspaugh says. “Seeing it come alive for a customer is so amazing.”

Each store provides space for local artists, creators, makers, and boutique vendors to sell their work and connect with the community. From delicious and savory treats to hand-made decorations, jewelry, and beauty products, everyone can find unique and special items perfect for them. 

“We take care of everything so the vendors who set up their space with us can really focus on their craft and their passion. That’s where I want them to spend their time,” Millspaugh says. “I wanted to remove that barrier so we could let these makers really shine.”

The stores and farmers market share the values and mission of Curate Mercantile: to connect the community to some of the best local makers and vendors. 

“There’s a saying that every time you buy from a small business, a real person does a happy dance,” Millspaugh says. “By supporting local businesses, you’re literally putting food on their tables, and you’re helping them pursue their dreams.” 

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