Love the Locals

Alicia Reisinger, an organizer for Love, the Locals, poses for a portrait at Love, the Locals at Zipline Brewing Company on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

On Sunday afternoon, a plentiful crowd streamed in and out from Love, The Locals, an event featuring some of Lincoln’s favorite small businesses. Though the blustery winds might have tried, the howling breeze couldn’t stop the Lincoln residents in attendance from shopping at their favorite local shops. 

The celebration, which lasted from noon until 5 p.m., marked the fourth year Lincoln’s small business owners have put on the seasonal event that serves as a thank you to customers and an opportunity to peddle products. 

The event was held at Zipline Brewing Co. at 2100 Magnum Circle and hosted over 30 vendors from the Lincoln area. Patrons paid $5 at the door to taste local food while sipping locally brewed beer, smelling candles from their favorite shop in Lincoln and picking up some homemade decor along the way.

“We just party and embrace that we’re all local,” said organizer of Love, The Locals Alicia Reisinger from soy candle company Wax Buffalo. “About four years ago, [the organizers and I] all got together and wanted to put on a party, kind of, to celebrate all of the beautiful work that’s happening here in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the surrounding areas.”

Heather Eigsti from Oliver and Lucy Designs, Kaitlyn Bright from Owl People and Machelle Kolbo from Machelle Kolbo Design Studio joined Reisigner to help organize the event. 

Each of these women had their own booth to promote the products they crafted. While Eigsti’s company sells blankets and baby apparel, Bright and Kolbo design graphics and prints that appear on shirts, mugs, signs and more.

One of Kolbo’s main products is the Dwell Deeply Journal. Each of the journals is decorated with a Bible verse and is filled with writing prompts on the inside, encouraging the journal owner to jot down things they are thankful for or noteworthy insights found during their Bible reading.

Though many veterans of the event like Reisigner returned, several new faces also made an appearance. Among the newbies was Tessa Bischoff of The Charming Fox, who beamed over the opportunity to share her handmade art with Lincoln natives.

Bischoff said she has a natural talent for hand lettering and loves to be able to give back to her Lincoln community by decorating business’ chalkboards and signage. 

Her business focuses primarily on hand lettering signs but includes weaving and fiber glass pieces as well. While Bischoff is no stranger to craft shows in Nebraska, she was eager to make her grand Love, The Locals debut in a spot much closer to home.

“We’ve been going to shows for two and a half years now, but this is our very first Love, The Locals,” Bischoff said. “It’s really exciting for us to be able to do it around Lincoln, normally we’re up in Omaha.”

Though all the shops sold vastly different products, from ceramics to tacos, they all rallied together for the same cause. 

This year, the event donated a portion of the proceeds to Operation Warm, an effort by the Lincoln Firefighters Association to provide coats to school children in need.

New and old alike, each vendor put forth their best products and decorated their booths to intentionally leave a lasting impression on passerbyers. Local business fans can visit the Love, The Locals website to find future show dates, such as the upcoming Love, The Locals Holiday Edition in December. 

This article was modified at 11:14 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, to remove "annual" from the headline.