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April 16, 2013

Edmonton’s Monthly Market – The Mercer Collective

The Mercer Collective started earlier this year in Edmonton and is an amazing monthly market for people selling items they've made, baked or created and for those looking to buy unique items. Located in the up and coming Mercer building on 104 Street, it's the perfect place to stop by after a browse through the Downtown farmers' market. But you don't have to wait for warmer weather, this market goes on all year (twice a month starting in May), rain or shine...or snow. Check out our interview with one of the organizers, Jasmin Smith, to find out a bit more about this market.

For those who haven’t heard about the Mercer Collective, can you give us some information about the market?

The Mercer Collective is an amazing handmade marketplace in the heart of downtown Edmonton. With the Mercer Collective the goal was to create a handmade craft show featuring local, Edmonton artists and makers. We wanted to showcase artists who Make, It, Bake It, or Create It with their own hands and brain and to help bring attention to the fabulous 104 Street Promenade area and the Mercer Building.

Mercer Collective is a twice a month Saturday market open from 10 am – 4pm in the basement of the Mercer Building, a 100 year warehouse on 104 St and 104 Ave. There is street parking available, as well as an ImPark lot on 104 Street and 103 Avenue.

Our next market dates are:
May 11 & 25
June 15 & 29
July 13 & 27
August 10 & 24
September 14 & 28
October 12 & 26
November 9 & 23

And our Christmas dates are:
December 7-8 & 14-15 (full weekend shows)

Do you charge a fee to shoppers?

Absolutely not! Our craft market is free so shoppers can come out and experience all the wonderful products produced in their own neighbourhoods.

The first Mercer Collective market was in February, did you find it had a good reception?

Yes! We are so excited to see how well received Mercer Collective has been by the general public, vendors looking for a place to sell their products, other markets in Edmonton, and other businesses in the 104 Street area.

What made you decide to start up this monthly market?

With Handmade Mafia deciding to close their doors last year, there has definitely been a void in the crafty markets in Edmonton. We do Pop Up shops but those are not regular markets (as we pop up whenever a space opens up). We were really looking for a market that focused primarily on handmade, handcrafted goods, and that was in a great neighbourhood with good walk through traffic. We decided that the best option was to start our own market in the neighbourhood of our choice, that being 104 Street."

How did you choose the location?

We wanted to be in a vibrant community and have always loved the 104 Street Promenade area. We love the Mercer Building and its history and had heard that Start Up Edmonton might have space coming up for events. We had all our fingers and toes crossed and were in constant contact with Start Up Edmonton and were very lucky to get accepted into the building.

How would you describe the atmosphere of one of your markets?

It’s vibrant and energizing and bright. Mercer Collective is a creative hub where ideas flow and new things are created. We’re all artists, hanging out selling our goods together so we talk, admire, give suggestions, and collaborate on new ideas together. It’s brilliant.

What type of vendors do you typically have and how many? Do they change from month to month?

We have a lot of applicants and want to make sure that we can fit as many in as possible so we usually have 36-40 vendors per market. In a typical show we’ll have anything from clothing designers, painters, photographers, fiber artists, jewellery makers, lampworkers, potters and so much more! We definitely mix up the vendors for each show. We want to foster diversity in the market, keep our customers interested and the lineup unique so, while we try to fit as many in as possible, we still change it up.

Love that you have live music at your events. Is there just one musician/band that plays per market?

We usually fit 3 different acts in 2 hour time slots in through the day at a typical market. We have rap artists, and bands, professional singers and choirs, djs and instrumental artists applying for the shows. We try to keep the music diverse through the day so on a typical market day you might hear some ragtime, some blues, or a dj spinning. You never know what you’ll hear!

Mercer Collective is a part of On the Spot Pop Up Sales, do you plan on still having pop up sales around Edmonton?

Most definitely. Pop ups are a huge amount of fun, the planning, the organizing, and the revealing of the location are just part of it. Setting up and selling in new neighbourhoods is great too for both our vendors who might be reaching a new audience, and the customers who may have never hear of us and our vendors.

For the vendors who make, bake or create something, how do they go about being part of the market?

Apply! We have application forms up on our website (www.mercercollective.com) for makers, bakers, and creators as well as an application form up for musicians to come out and play. We’re always looking for new musicians to promote. We have also just released our Christmas dates and the application form for those shows too!

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