Indie Craft Fairs 101
As a maker of over a decade with a creative and curious brain, I keep thinking about how we can connect local shoppers who want to support local businesses with small businesses on Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island is 31,285 square km or almost half the size of Ireland. (That's a lot of area) So, I started Vancouver Island Market with a big hairy audacious goal to bring talented local small business owners all under one roof. We had over 30,000 people attended our Christmas Market and over 18,000 in our first Spring Market.
Top Things to do at a Spring Market
1) Food Trucks
Maybe because we grew up looking forward to ice-cream trucks and food stands that serve a menu that is limited but super unique, even if the line ups are huge, it's just so worth the wait. It's a must-have at any market.
This spring, we have a rotating group of vendors who will join our food truck vendors (rain or shine) at our event. We hope to see you both days since Saturday's line up will differ from Saturday to Sunday!
2) Local Brew + Chews
A friend of mine came to visit from the mainland during spring break and I went and purchased some local treats like macaroons from Burnt Honey (who used to do local markets until they became a locally owned and operated mom and pop store) for a stay-at-home high tea visit. She told me how good everything she's been enjoying around town on the island are so much more delicious than the mainland. Oh my. It's not just me and my bias!
Our breweries, distilleries and baked goods are among some of the top notch yums to look out for. Most do sampling so if you get a chance to taste test, do it!
3) Workshops + Demos
We're big on learning and staying creative. Studies have confirmed that being creative can increase positive emotions, lessen depressive symptoms, reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and even improve immune system functioning. It may be the reason why I love working with like-minded creative people... there's an up-lifting and expansive mindset that improves my general well-being.
4) Collective Pop Up Shop Experience
There's just so much talent on the island and sometimes the only way we can bring the product to our shoppers is if we brought their products with us. You'll find curated local goods ready to purchase inside our collective shop while chatting with our enthusiastic staff at our market. It's all about getting to know the makers right?
5) The Artisans
Last but not least, if not for the artisans, we wouldn't have a craft market. It's always a delight to find unique artisans from all walks of life offer their wares and share their passion with us. Artisans and Makers like myself have multiple jobs to sustain our creative businesses and we absolutely enjoy what we do. The reward of seeing happy faces from buyers help us grow as humans and sometimes, if we're lucky, we can create a full time sustainable business.
Last but not least, this is a great way to support small businesses and maintain a healthy low carbon footprint for the planet.
What do you look for in a craft market? Let us know what you like most!