Hello! I’m Chantal and I’m the 26 year old knitta behind Knitatude. I have had my little knitting biz for over 2 years and have fallen in love with the maker community. Most of my gal pals I have made through this wonderful world of hand mak-ers and I’m proud to say that I’m the president of YYC Girl Gang here in Calgary. Since my season of markets is only a small portion of the year (aka the frigid months) I love going to support my friends and vendors on the opposite side of the table. These are some things I have learnt along the way!
Ok: Christmas is quickly approaching and everyone is on the lookout for the perfect unique gift. Why not choose handmade? It makes each gift that much more special. As you’re going through your market hopping here are some suggestions on how to make it a great experience!
1. Bring a Friend
Shopping is meant to be done in groups right? Whether it’s with your gaggle of gals, or maybe even your partner, browsing is so much more fun with someone else . *Hint hint this is also a great way to nudge that person in the direction of showing what you want under your tree!* Don’t forget that having a friend tag along means you can get a second opinion on that cute necklace you’re looking at or that knit toque you’ve been eying for months.
2. Check out the Vendor list
Most markets now will show you the amazing line up on vendors that will be selling their wares the day of the event. You can usually find this is on their social media feeds, or on their website leading up in the weeks to their market date. Take a few moments to head to their Facebook event page or website and see the amazing people they have in advance so you can scope out the goodies and beeline it to your favourite booths – just in case they sell out! You never know what amazing people you will find when clicking through the rabbit hole of links.
3. Research those Artisans
This is the best part. Get your best creep on and head to the social media pages of the artists you’re interested in. You’ll get to see what kind of items they’ll have to sell and how much each costs while make that mental (or physical) check list in your head – ticking off every family member present before the market doors even open! Plus you’ll probably get a glimpse of the makers behind their products. Not going to lie – they’re usually pretty damn cool and awesome people.
4. Bring Cash
Some vendors may be pretty new to the market scene and will not have the fancy smanchy machines to take debit or credit. Take some cash with you just in case you find something you really want. This can come in handy just in case there isn’t an ATM at the event, if the odd chance that it has run out of bills to dispense, or you can’t beg your friend enough to lend you some bills.
5. Grab that Business Card
The day is going to be hectic, and the market is probably going to be crazy. If you see something you like but may not be able to afford at the moment or just want to wait on – grab their business card! You’ll be seeing a bunch of people and their business name may slip your mind a couple weeks down the road. Having their business card will come in handy when those brain farts happen.
Most of all HAVE FUN! Check out the things you’ve never seen before, say hello and be curious. Artisans love chatting about their work and will love to talk to you about their businesses and products. Happy shopping!
Photo credit goes to Suzanne Nolan for the girl Gang photo!