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Charlottesville Cash Mob Targets Independent Vendors - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Cash Mob Targets Independent Vendors

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The cash mob invited vendors to set up shop Saturday at Charlottesville's Main Street Arena at no cost. The cash mob invited vendors to set up shop Saturday at Charlottesville's Main Street Arena at no cost.

Charlottesville shoppers are bringing a boost to business owners who usually sell their products from home.

On Saturday, the cash mob targeted vendors who focus on in-home sales - and helped these independent sales people make cash and connections.

The cash mob was a chance for these vendors to boost business, and build a support system.

Maria Sutton is in the business of empowering women.

As an independent representative for Damsel in Defense, she sells tasers, pepper spray, alarms and other gear to keep women safe.

"We just try to empower the women in the community to know what they need to do, we educate, and we equip them to be protected," she said.

Sutton is in direct sales, so she depends on in-home parties, safety seminars and events like the mob to get the word out about her business.

"It has a stigma. It needs a new stigma. It's the independent woman that's getting it done," she said.

The cash mob invited Sutton and other direct sales women to set up shop Saturday at Charlottesville's Main Street Arena at no cost.

"Normally we would have to pay anywhere from $20 to maybe $150 just to set up somewhere to try to get the word out and that does cut into our business," said cash mob coordinator Johnnie Payne.

Payne says customers here are feeding their money right back into the community.

"Some people see a book passing around and they think ‘Oh it's Tupperware again or somebody's having another 31 party,' but you are helping support a family," she said.

Sutton says having the opportunity to team up with other independent saleswomen in central Virginia is empowering.

"Even if you sold nothing, if no one sold anything, we'd still feel better because we've networked and we know that we have a passion and we're not alone. It's small town America at its best," she said.

If you know of a Charlottesville business in need of a little help from the cash mob, you can find out how to nominate it here.

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