Photo courtesy of Rayna C. Richardson.
That’s the catchy tagline for PinUp Preserves, the Southwest Farmer’s Market’s newest vendor. PinUp Preserves’ business owner, Rayna C. Richardson, was on her way to work at Arena Stage when she passed through our neighborhood farmer’s market. She was glad to see the market “as a community place, where the people of SW have a place to come together and connect,” so she asked about selling jams and preserves. The following Saturday, you could find Rayna set up next to Zeke’s Coffee making introductions to our regulars and handing out samples of her delicious Sweet Heat Triple Ginger-Peach or Red Hot Stomp Strawberry-Chili Pepper jams.
While growing up on Long Island in New York, Rayna learned an appreciation for hand craftsmanship with her family. They often spent quality time together making things from scratch—cooking baked goods and family meals or knitting sweaters and blankets. It’s no surprise that when Rayna started making jams, she also developed creative new recipes and made enough to give cans away as holiday gifts. But when the jam started taking over her kitchen, Rayna had to ask herself, “Where does this fit into my life?” Lucky for us, Rayna started PinUp Preserves a little more than a year ago to great success!
Rayna credits her entrepreneurial skills to her freelancing experience, which has many parallels to running a business. Over the years, she has learned how to identify good business opportunities and how to scale up production without compromising quality, all while bringing artistic creativity and vision to her branding and production. Balancing PinUp Preserves and her job as a costume technician at Arena can be challenging, but Rayna says the rewards more than make up for a busy lifestyle.
PinUp Preserves will be at the Southwest Farmer’s Market every Saturday this fall until the end of our market season on Nov. 19. There, you can find Rayna selling all-natural jams and preserves made with locally sourced ingredients from Great Country Farms (VA) and Ryan’s Fruit Market (VA). You can also follow @pinuppreserves on Facebook and Instagram, as well as visit their website at www.pinuppreserves.com.