Over the past decade, Fredericksburg has seen a substantial increase in creativity and artistic expression, from the openings of galleries to the countless annual art events. Events such as First Friday and Art Attack Project have provided artists with a platform to showcase their beautiful work. And businesses like FredVends, owned and operated by Heather Dodd, have allowed even more artists and creatives to flourish in the city.
Dodd is also the owner of Modern Shaman Art and Wellness on Prince Edward St, and launched FredVends in May of 2022. FredVends is a vendor market organizer, scouting artisans and creatives in the area who are looking for places to sell their products. Dodd began working with the markets at Wild Hare Cider Pub, focusing on 5-7 vendors per market. She has also held market events at locations such as Haley’s Honey Meadery, Eden Try Winery, and Adventure Brewing North.
FredVends has featured jewelry makers, potters, bakers, wood-workers, and many other independently-owned makers in the area. One of the businesses featured was The Fika Studio, a custom-fitting welder who specializes in permanently welding jewelry for guests. Dodd makes sure that these artists are capable of promoting their products and business, and encourages them to apply for business licenses. Dodd has been thrilled and overwhelmed with the saturation of artists in Fredericksburg.
“There’s a lot of creative people,” she said.
Dodd has lived in Fredericksburg since 2015, and has greatly enjoyed starting a business in the city. She said that the evolution of economic growth in Fredericksburg since 2015 has been wonderful to see, and has been thrilled to be part of such an effort. As a woman-owned business, Dodd has found starting FredVends to be very rewarding and empowering. After spending 17 years in the restaurant industry, she feels that the skills she learned in that field has provided her with what she needs to succeed in her business.
Dodd has also found that helping independent artists has been incredibly rewarding. She has loved giving these artists a platform, and cannot wait to bring more creatives into the fold. Dodd is certain that Fredericksburg will continue to grow in a positive direction, both in economic development and creativity.
Follow FredVends on Facebook.