Peace Market Showcases Local and International Artists

There's something genuine about knowing you've bought something made by hand, and inspired by the heart.

"All my stuff is like 'my Mom used to have one of those'," said Robert Villanueva.

Robert Villanueva and his wife Mini have been setting up shop at the Esperanza Center's International Peace Market for years.

"All of my stuff is very antique, vintage, and I repair most of it," added Villanueva.

They're two of more than a hundred local and international artists that look forward to showcasing their talents.

Each one has a story and inspiration often comes from places where there's love.

"I took a class in high school and we learned papier-mâché," said Mia Baldera of Handmade by Lissie.

Five years ago Mia taught her Mom, and Handmade by Lissie was molded into a business.

"It's really nice. I really like watching her and she's an inspiration to me," said Mia.

That feeling of inspiration is shared from generation to generation, from shoppers and artists alike.

Lisa Espinosa has made this shopping excursion part of her holiday tradition since she was a college student.

"The art is beautiful and unique and nobody has anything like this," said shopper Lisa Espinosa.

Now she passes her tradition of shopping local down to her daughter.

"We're going to shop, just her and I, this morning and I thought it would be nice.  It's very special," added Espinosa.

The art is special and you won't find it anywhere, even over Thanksgiving weekend.

"Any place is better than the malls, just too crowded and people are either in a hurry, here they can take their time, look around and pick out whatever they want," said Robert Villanueva.