NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Downtown New Canaan was turned into a pedestrian mall as hundreds of shoppers flocked to take advantage of special deals and also of a pleasant summer day.
It was the first foray into the event for Meredith Bagley, owner of M-Belle-Ish, a custom jewelry company she created five years ago after the birth of her first child. Bagley, a Norwalk resident who grew up in New Canaan, said it was a success.
"We had a great day -- it definitely was. It was a great day," she said. "A lot of my customers were in the area, and I met some new customers."
She was one of about 130 vendors and nonprofit groups - including dueling Republican and Democratic booths that stared at each other from opposite sides of Elm Street - that sought to grab the ears and the business of the crowd.
Bagley works with semi-precious pieces to create necklaces. When she was first starting out, she would design a necklace for herself and advertise it by wearing it.
"When I started I would sell them off my neck," Bagley said with a laugh. She has gradually expanded her business and sells her work in local stores and as far away as Vero Beach, Fla.
One groups promoting itself was the New Canaan Historical Society, with volunteers Susan Serven and Robin Wolyner dressed in period costumes from the 1760s.
Although they were acting as educators Saturday, the women said they were learning a lot from the people who stopped by and talked about the histories of their families and their homes. Serven said people brought up old items such as bottles found in their backyard or about the homes they live in that are up to 250 years old.
"You really learn about so much history," Wolyner said.
Melissa Lindsay, who is a partner with Jill Saunders in Pimlico, a home furnishing and accessory shop, said the day attracts shoppers both intense and casual.
"There are different types of shoppers: the serious shoppers who come before 9, so if you are really there to shop you are the early bird," Lindsay said. "It's also such a nice day. It's so niche to walk around and peruse and in that perusing if you have to stumble upon something you like, you get it."
The event brings the town and the business community closer together, Saunders said.
"I think what is important is community, the camaraderie," she said.
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