TAMPA, Fla. — The holiday season is looking quite different this year, but one thing the pandemic hasn't canceled is the Junior League of Tampa's Holiday Gift Market.
For many people, the holiday gift market is the official kickoff of the holiday season.
This year, the event went virtual and is offering more than 200 local vendors.
Danielle Tinsley with the Junior League of Tampa is one of the many members behind the scenes who are making the virtual gift market possible.
"Last year I believe we had I think it was over 16,000 shoppers through the door. This year we have had to pivot a bit," Tinsley said.
This year's theme is, "We'll gift through this together."
Tinsley said this year is more important than ever to support local businesses.
"In this year if we want to keep our small businesses intact and ensure that these retailers are around next year we do really need to gift through this together," Tinsley said.
Marisol Arias is the co-owner of Sustainable Marketplace.
Her business is one of the many that will benefit from this year's virtual gift market.
"It was just an opportunity that we didn't expect, but we were just so grateful to be a part of it," Marisol said.
She and her sister started Sustainable Marketplace last year.
Each purchase at the Arias' shop will also help women in South America who are making the products that allow them a fair wage.
"We just want to help empower women and that's really what our purpose is," Marisol said.
The holiday gift market runs through Dec. 13 and it's free for you to shop.
For more information visit, https://www.jltampa.org/featured-events/holiday-gift-market/