Local wares on display at Carson Mall
Jeanette Champagne doesn’t just make her jewelry in Nevada, she often makes it from pieces of Nevada. “I go out and actually pick up most of the rock I work with, and I work with local rock first,” she said. “It’s like redesigning Mother Nature a little bit. I love to do that.”At her Rocking and Rolling store on Carson Street, she has a case dedicated to just Nevada turquoise. “We have some really beautiful ones from Tonopah and Austin,” she said. She has a second room in her shop dedicated to other items crafted in the state. “I’ve been really fussy about keeping our money at home,” she said.Champagne joined a handful of other vendors at the Made in Nevada Marketplace at the Carson Mall on Wednesday. The marketplace continues 11 a.m.-6 p.m. today.“It’s important to give small business a leg up,” said Lynette Castillo, program manager for Made in Nevada. “Let’s support what Nevada has to offer. And Nevada has a lot to offer.”Castillo ran the program when it was a state function, and took over as volunteer coordinator in 2009 when it was cut by the state. To belong, businesses must make at least 51 percent of their product in Nevada. She said it is important to foster a climate that favors local business. “It brings revenue to the state of Nevada,” she said. “They all pay taxes. And if they grow, they take on employees. That also brings revenue back into the state.”Scott and Whitney Lehr handed out jerky and sausage samples from Sierra Nevada Gourmet meats. Run by their uncle Steve Menesini as a wholesale business for 35 years, the Lehr’s expanded to a retail store in Yerington when they took over last year. “We’re pretty excited about it,” Lehr said. In addition to smoking meats, he said, they’ve also been busy this year with wild game processing. “We’ve had turkey, duck, elk, deer, sheep, buffalo,” he said. “We’ve even done some bear this year.”Dawn Tavares, owner of Cherry Bomb Catering, offered up samples of salted chocolate truffles and peppermint popcorn.Although based in Reno, she said, she often makes deliveries to Carson City. The business, run out of a community kitchen, reached its year mark in May and has been a success, she said. “Oh my gosh, it’s amazing,” she said. “We are so busy, and we’re having a blast.”As a local company, she said, supporting other local business is a priority.“We buy all of our food local,” she said. “We support local companies. I love being a part of Made in Nevada.”Other vendors included barbecue sauce, fudge, pottery, bags and more. Castillo encouraged Christmas shoppers to stop by.“Why buy something made in China when you can buy something made right here?” she asked.If you goWHAT: Made in Nevada MarketplaceWHEN: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. todayWHERE: Carson Mall, 1313 S. Carson St.For more information, go to madeinnevada.org.