Bushel + A Peck is one of many hand-selected vendors at the Vintage Market Days "Bloom" event coming up April 16-18 at the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center. Learn more and get your tickets here.
For the last seven years, Jessica Ervin's creative outlet has been her small, St. Paris-based business, Bushel + A Peck.
"I had some postpartum depression and anxiety after my second daughter was born," says Ervin. "I started making stuff as a coping mechanism. And the creative outlet gave me the opportunity to break the cycle of those feelings. Making things with your own hands and then having people want to own your work is very gratifying."
The name of the business was a simple one for Ervin, as "I love you, a bushel and a peck," was a song she sang to her girls when they were little.
Through the years, Ervin has kept up with the trends and must-haves in the world of creatives. When you shop Bushel + A Peck, you’ll find the wittiest of items. "We are snarky, quirky, boho/farm/mid-century, dramatic, and a little like if a late 90s teen switched out her posters of Blink 182 to adult art," she says.
All of the products offered by Bushel + A Peck are screen print and laser cut or engraved in-house. "All of our tees, signs, or whatever else we get our hands on to work with," she adds.
And while the phrase "if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all," is a common courtesy. Ervin doesn’t want to stop at just the kind, loving things. "If you can’t make it nice, make it funny," she says. "So, I don’t just choose the heartfelt things to make, I make the salty, inappropriate, and weird."
While Ervin doesn’t place a lot of significance on her number growth since opening her creative hustle 7 years ago, she does base her growth on generalities like how she moved from her basement to a brick-and-mortar store in the heart of her town or from taking things from a side hustle to a full-time business doing about 80 events in a typical year.
"When Bushel + A Peck began, I had big dreams," she says. "I still do. I’m always one step ahead of where I should be - pushing just past where I’m ready."
Ervin still manufactures her products on her 4-acre property. She says she tried the brick-and-mortar location, but she didn’t totally love it. But may consider trying it again one day.
However, with all the growth, experimentation, movement, and more that she’s experienced in the last seven years, she has grown her online presence to a full-time job, along with the big events she participates in (COVID dependent), and is in several stores including the Polaris and Tuttle Mall locations for The Window Guy, Centerville’s Antique Village, and Nest 1896 in Bellefontaine.
Currently, Ervin says that her best sellers include the Bestie Bones sign, the "Don’t be a Richard" tee/sign, "Be a Good Human" tee, and the new line of "35" tees. "The '35' tees were launched for my 35th birthday in February," she says.
As for herself, her current favorite product is The Bestie Bones. "It’s always hands-down my favorite," she laughs. "It's my personality."
As events begin to start up again, Ervin says she's looking forward to participating in the upcoming Vintage Market Days event.
She has already participated in many, including Knoxville in 2019. Then, in addition to the Dayton-Cincy event, she’s traveling to Savannah, Georgia, and NW Houston, Texas for the Vintage Market Days shows there.
"We take the kids and our family works Bushel + A Peck at the events," says Ervin. "We love that they are so well organized. It’s always a top-notch experience."
She says that Vintage Market Days has some of the best vendors you’ll find, live music, and great food. "We have gotten so many opportunities being involved with Vintage Market Days shows," she says. "When I was saying I didn’t really love brick and mortar, this is why - I love traveling. I love the freedom these shows give us, the flexibility to meet new people, and find new customers who aren’t on social media regularly."
With the April 16-18 Vintage Market days show coming up, Ervin says she’s looking forward to working with event coordinators, Tonya and Kyle.
"This is without a doubt one of my top two shows I love the most out of all we do nationwide," she says. "I love the spring show with all the color, hope, and possibility you can feel in the space. That’s what we go for in our look. Our customers at this show are ‘our customers.’ The people who show up, event after event, and say hi to me! They know me from these events and we catch up like friends. It blows my mind every single event we do that I get lines of people to buy what I make. I still stand there in shock like ‘I made that’ with awe on my face. To all of our Dayton and Cincinnati customers, I love all of you! You bless us every single event."
Vintage Market Days "Bloom" event is coming up April 16-18 at the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center. Three barns will be filled with hand-picked vendors featuring vintage, boho, industrial, modern MCM greatness. Make a day of it with food trucks and vendors, live music, a comfortable sitting area, and free parking. Hours are 10am-4pm Friday and Saturday ($10 admission fee) and 10am-3pm Sunday ($5 admission fee). Children 12 and under free. Purchase your tickets early to get an hour of shopping in before the "buy at the door" ticket line is let in. Learn more and get your tickets here.