It was a bright and sunny Tuesday morning when Rachel and I met the owner of the upcoming Grit+Grace Bazaar at our local fave, Napoli Cafe. The petite brunette was all nervous smiles as we sat down to find out about her new endeavor, and uncover what led her to the corner of NC 172. I have been seeing the modern, black and white store front for a few weeks now and wondered what was coming. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Marilyn has been here since 2007, and resides in Holly Ridge, NC with two kids, ages 9 and 5. A fellow stay at home mom, she revealed her talent is spray tanning, which she fell in love with while in Japan. What started as a hobby, turned into a full-blown service that she did out of her home, because of her desire for wanting to get away from tanning beds and use safer option.
Meet The Owner: Marilyn Didomenico
On September 7, 2015, Marilyn would be in a serious car accident while 34 weeks pregnant that would change her entire existence. She found herself suffering from both postpartum depression and PTSD as a result of the accident, and was in a ditch that she could not dig herself out of. She saw no hope and was in the darkest place she had ever been. But one September day in 2017, she literally looked to the right and realized that she was not putting God first. She received a direct Word from Him and knew she had to change her life around. She admitted that although she knew a host of scriptures, she had never read the Bible. That is where New River Community Church entered her life and she got submerged in the congregation lead by Pastor Steve Allen, whose praises she sings. He is one of the most genuine men she has ever met, and shows that he is sincere in his walk. She also spent time volunteering for The Master’s Touch, a thrift store that I love, which is ran by local churches.
Marilyn on a missions trip in Guatamala with her church, New River Community Church of God, helping the Guatamalan people to build homes, stoves, and vacation bible school for the children.
More storms ahead…
During this process of growth, she also weathered another major painful life event. During this, she had a very difficult time finding employment. She ended up obtaining several jobs that didn’t last because she knew she was being called to a different calling in her life. Opening a Christian store was what she realized she was being moved to do, so she finally applied for an LLC in January. Just 2-3 days later she found out about the space she now occupies, formerly Harper Rose Boutique, and when she inquired about the space, she was able to easily obtain it even though there was heavy interest. Every thing just fell into place and four weeks later? She was preparing to open!
what Will Grit+Grace Bazaar offer?
Marilyn is adamant about providing only what she loves, so first and foremost, she will offer:
- Spray tans, Bella Mia Sunless Tan, to be exact…
- Christian graphic tees, using Christian retailers, plus designing her own with local company Top Notch.
- Men’s tees will be available as well.
- Additional faith-based gear
- Local and homemade items!
- If you are a local vendor or creative, contact her!
- The Sudsy Nun Soap Company, which Marilyn is a huge fan of, based out of Eastern North Carolina.
- Her current vendor is a lady named Jade, owner of “Follow Your Bliss Candles”. Jade resides in Sneads Ferry
- Doterra Essential Oils
- Java Estate ground coffee, because she is a COFFEE LOVER. (Their coffee is used by local favs Coffee Haven, Seablue Co., and Daily Grind.)
- OUTDOOR SEATING
What does The Name grit+grace Bazaar mean?
Marilyn derived this unique name of the Christian retail store directly from her struggles: “to have grit is to persevere,” explained the mom of 2, and God gives grace and mercy. She revealed that she had to forgive those in her past in order to be able to embark on this adventure and have the courage to see it through. The ease that she experienced in obtaining the store speaks to validate why the store should be here and how much the it might impact people. She states “bazaar,” a Middle Eastern term for a market, is the perfect description because she is selling such a hodge podge of items. And she’s right…I’ve been to plenty faith-based stores, but not one that offered spray tanning! In addition, Marilyn wants to go a step further than just being a new, local retail store. She has a genuine desire to help local churches and people in need, so she will be donating a portion of her proceeds to them. She also wants to encourage you to get involved with an organization called Compassion International, where she sponsors a child in need. After hearing about it at church, her and the kids were compelled to get involved and make a change in the life of someone they didn’t know.
Wanna Check It Out?
The SOFT OPENING/DEDICATION is THIS Sunday, February 28th, 2021, from 2-4 PM. Salty Sistas will be a vendor, along with cupcakes, and a blessing from Pastor Steve Allen of New River Community Church of God.
969 NC HWY 210, Sneads Ferry, NC, 28460
The Grit+Grace Bazaar will be open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm
- (910) 741-0838
- Instagram: @thegritandgracebazaar
- Facebook: The Grit + Grace Bazaar
Wanna Get Involved with her or Become a Vendor? CONTACT her using the above info!