When you support local artists, crafters and artisans, you are not only helping sustain their individual practices/businesses, you are also supporting the local economy – helping create a climate in which the creative community as a whole can thrive.
This is one lesson that the Etsy: Made in Canada market is teaching – in a big way.
With the fourth local Etsy: Made in Canada market on the horizon (taking place on May 5 at Atlantic Place in downtown St. John’s), Meghan Fahey, Etsy St. John’s Team Captain, says the event has come a long way over the past few years.
Since their first event in September of 2015 at the Anna Templeton Centre, the local Etsy team have organized several other markets, including one at Memorial University in September of 2016, and another at Atlantic Place in September of 2017.
“After the astonishing success of our September event, the Etsy St. John’s team decided to host an impromptu Holiday Market in November at Atlantic Place which was equally well-attended. This spring marks our third time at Atlantic Place and we couldn’t be happier with this venue,” Fahey says.
While the first and second markets had 14 and 27 vendors respectively, Fahey says since moving to Atlantic Place, the market increased to 38 and 41 vendors.
“Many of our Etsy sellers have reported record-breaking sales at our September and/or November markets, which illustrates that shoppers genuinely appreciate an opportunity to support small local businesses. Our team of organizers are all volunteers and we are also sellers at these events, so we’re thrilled to play a small role in our fellow vendors’ success,” says Fahey, who also operates Driven to Ink, a handmade card and stationary business.
As with the previous two markets, the upcoming Spring Etsy: Made in Canada Market is a partnership between Etsy St. John’s and Martek, Business & Arts NL and the City of St. John’s.
“We’ve been so fortunate to have our venue sponsored by Martek and Southwest Properties (the manager and owner, respectively, of Atlantic Place). They had the foresight to see that the Etsy: Made in Canada events would be a vibrant addition to the downtown economy and they’ve been amazing to work with,” Fahey says.
Local business support for the market, Fahey adds, has been wonderful, from Jumping Bean in Atlantic Place providing coffee vouchers to vendors, to sponsorship from local photographers including Shyama Shoots, Maddie Mills Photo, and Wild & Heart Photography. For the upcoming market, Fahey says they partnered with Mallard Cottage for a Market + Brunch Facebook giveaway.
While markets such as these help local makers get eyes on their work (and put some money in their hardworking hands), Fahey says there are spin-off benefits for local businesses as well.
“Local stores such as Posie Row, Johnny Ruth and Twisted Sisters have had nothing but positive things to say about our markets,” she says.
“Foot traffic downtown on the days we host events increases exponentially, and we believe it’s great for the local economy overall.”