The Research Triangle Park

Pt. 2: Meet the vendors of the Mistletoe Market

By Dec 06, 2016

The idea for the Mistletoe Market sparked from a conversation between two coworkers at The Research Triangle Foundation who loved to shop. From there, a new opportunity was seen to live out our mission. As a Foundation, we strive to lift up all people of North Carolina. This can easily be seen when thinking about corporate America and all of the people who work in the RTP at our many companies. However, we wanted to do something to support another asset to our community – the Makers & DIYers. Some of vendors attending this year’s Mistletoe Market have made their craft a full time job, while others treat it as a creative outlet and side-hustle. We are honored to have the opportunity to showcase these great businesses of North Carolina!

We hope to see you on December 8th from 4pm – 7pm for shopping, drinks and fun at The Frontier!

Susie Silver of Red Bird Goods

Q: Do you draw any inspiration from the Triangle in creating your products?

Susie: We strive to make products that are both eco-conscious and modern, just like the people in the Triangle. 

Q: How many years have you been in business?

Susie: We just passed out 1 year date!

Q: Any crazy start-up stories in getting your business up and running?

Susie: Our plans for a dining room table have been put on hold since there is a screen printing machine in the middle of our dining room!

Ursula Ellis of Made

Q: Are you a single (wo)man operation, or is there a team supporting you?

Ursula: I am a single woman operation with the help of a very sweet boyfriend who enjoys creating things with me!

Q: Everyone knows the phrase “Don’t quit your day job” when people talk about their hobbies. What you do have to say to that?

Ursula: My hobby is crafting and I own a gift shop that consists of all handcrafted items and we have a studio for adults and kids to make their own crafted items so I say combine your day job with your hobby!


Mike De Los Santos of Mike D’s BBQ

Q: Any crazy start-up stories in getting your business up and running?

Mike: We got lucky while waiting for our Department of Agriculture Inspections. They only have 2 part time inspectors for the entire state each responsible for about 50 counties. We had a long waiting list but were lucky that there was a cancellation. That allowed us to sneak in without a long wait!!!

Q: Ever sold your items to anyone famous or noteworthy?

Mike: Alan Williams who plays in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns is also nicknamed BIG Sauce, which is the name of my first product. He is a big fan of the sauce!!

Rick Gardner of Binky & Bell

Q: How did you choose the name for your business?

Rick: Binky and Bell got it’s name from my first dog “Binky”, a Black Lab / Brittany Spaniel mix, and Mark Bell’s last name. We wanted something that represented us and our love of dogs and thought that combination had a nice ring to it.

Kayte Price of Smiling Elephant Studio

Q: What is your most popular product?

Kayte: Since they are all one-of-a-kinds, all of it!

Q: Describe your business in 5 words.

Kayte: Ancient Roots/Modern Soul Jewelry

Ngoc DeMarco of Global Goodies

Q: Do you draw any inspiration from the Triangle in creating your products?

Ngoc: YES! The Triangle is so refreshing in how our community embraces local startups and good food. After moving here 3 years ago and having visited area farmers markets, fairs and home-grown restaurants, I was inspired by the local, supportive startup culture to relaunch my artisanal snacks and treats business. Why? Because I feel like I’m finally “home” here, with kindred spirits who love small batch, high quality food products.

Q: Any crazy start-up stories in getting your business up and running?

Ngoc: At my first farmer’s market event, a blustery storm appeared out of nowhere. My pop-up tent, though new and sturdy, was not meant to weather a windy onslaught! My market neighbors all stepped in to tie my booth to theirs, adding bricks and concrete blocks to make sure I wouldn’t “blow away”. While I barely knew these kind souls, I realized then that the “Maker” Community are made up of wonderful, supportive and resourceful kind souls.