After spending some time away from Turlock in big cities like Los Angeles and Tulsa, Oklahoma, local artisan Valeria Jimenez has returned to her roots moving back to Turlock to be with her family. Now, she mixes the worlds of fashion and health through her certification as a health coach and passion for making jewelry, and also serves as the manager for downtown Turlock’s Central Park Evening Market.
Q. How did you first become interested in making jewelry?
A: I first began making jewelry in junior high. I remember making a ring and a friend ran up to me and said she wanted to buy it from me.... from that moment on I just wanted to keep making more! It was in my junior year of high school that I really began cultivating my craft and bringing collections to school with me. Jewelry design became my part time job not only in high school but also through college. It was the one thing that always inspired me.
Q. What inspired you to help bring an evening, weekday market back to downtown Turlock?
A: I love this city and was affected along with so many others by the outcome of last year’s "tale of two markets.” I remember loving the idea of a market on a Thursday evening and when the opportunity was brought to me this year, I just knew it was time!
Q. What is your favorite part about managing the Central Park Evening Market?
A: During my studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, one of my modules was dedicated to discussing what other health coaches were doing around the globe. Launching farmers markets was one of those ventures. Two years ago, I made a goal to launch a farmers market as well and I think seeing this dream become a reality and having my family alongside me helping me every single step of the way may just be my absolute favorite thing!
Q. What do you think the Central Park Evening Market brings to downtown Turlock?
A: In all honesty, I can say this market compliments what is already happening downtown. Downtown Turlock doesn't need us, yet this city has welcomed his market with open arms and my biggest goal is to continue to utilize this market as a way of giving back and showing continuous gratitude to our city.
Q. Q. What are a few must-see booths at the market?
A: It's hard to name just a few! We're all quite proud of every single one of our vendors! I will say my "Valeria Jewelry" is my definite favorite (wink), as well as our artisanal vendors selling products such as handmade wood boards, specialty olive oils, homemade jams, local flowers, macaroons, hand sewn children's clothing and lemonade. Every booth is worth visiting!
Q. When you're not busy making jewelry or at the Central Park Evening Market, what is your favorite thing to do in Turlock?
A: When I'm not working...you will find me at La Mo! If I'm not there, I'm somewhere on Main Street.
Q. What is the last book or TV show that captivated you?
A: I'm reading "Contagious; why things catch on.” It's amazing! I love self-help books. I'm also reading a few juicing books right now. I'm a big juicer junkie!
Q. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: People would be surprised to know that I'm a huge homebody! My idea of the perfect evening is spending it at either my parents’ house or at my aunt and uncle’s and eating dinner or just hanging out. Everyone thinks I live for the big parties with lots of people. Those are great, but they don't compare to being at home with your shoes off around people who love you unconditionally!