ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Christmas Carousel, a holiday shopping event, wrapped up its three-day event Sunday afternoon, with having sold more than 4,200 tickets. In addition, 25 new vendors made up 65+ booths.

Kady Johnston, a new vendor with multiple roles, shared her excitement with KTAB/KRBC.

“It was really exciting. Every year I’ve been a shopper at Christmas Carousel… And so, getting to be on the other side of things was actually really exciting,” said Johnston.

Johnston owns both Isabella James Bridal and Welded by Kady. Not only was this her first year as a vendor, but also as a provisional for the Junior League of Abilene.

“I kind of helped, got to see things unfold from the beginning to this,” Johnston detailed. “So, we started with setting everything up. Getting to go from there to actually putting my own little area together was really exciting to see it all kind of unfold.”

Johnston’s booth contained pieces from her bridal boutique and permanent jewelry welding. Customers get to choose between items like bracelets, rings, and necklaces. Then she welds them on.

As an Abilene native and small business owner, Johnston said supporting and shopping local means more than the average person knows.

“People may not realize that when you shop local and support local, you literally help feed our families,” Johnston explained. “You know you, it’s a huge deal. And one purchase can make our entire day.”

Courtney Hill, owner of Eighteen78 Boutique, shared a space with Johnston as another first-time vendor. She said the work that went into the event was intense.

“So, it took me several months to get ready for Carousel. This is my first year, and just ordering the clothes – the right clothes – gift ideas, gift items and coming up with the stocking bar… It was fun for me to do, but it’s a lot of work,” Hill listed.

Although it’s a lot of work, Hill told KTAB/KRBC she was grateful for the support and relationships shared by her customers.

“Abilene is wonderful. Abilene shows up and the ladies that come by are so kind and they love, they love to interact with you,” said Hill. “One lady came up to me and she was shopping, and we just built a little relationship.”

After this year’s success, one thing is for sure for these ladies: They are ready for next year’s Christmas Carousel.

“I’m really excited for next year,” Johnston added.

On the same train of thought, Hill continued, “It’s something that I want to do every year.”