BIO: The SHIFT Handmade Market is a new, local, craftirpreneur-focused event in the heart of the Fraser Valley. Shoppers can expect high quality, artisan products from a carefully selected group of incredible handmade vendors. The SHIFT’s goal is to shift your expectation of what handmade can be. The Fraser Valley is home to some great vintage markets; the SHIFT is an inspired take on handmade.
NEXT EVENT: Saturday April 30th
West Langley Lions Hall
9400 208th Street, Langley BC
What makes the SHIFT Markets different from other craft fairs/markets?
The SHIFT was born out of our (Leslie & Jill) desire to host an event that is as awesome for the vendors as it is for the shoppers. A lot of the markets we had attended as vendors had GREAT things about them, but not one market was able to provide everything we wished for. As Market Coordinators our aim is to create great relationships with both our vendors and shoppers. As a market, we value communication, honesty and continual improvement and want to build a community around those values.
What can shoppers expect to find at your upcoming event?
The SHIFT Handmade Spring Market is the weekend before Mother’s Day, so we know a lot of families will be out shopping for Mom! Shoppers will be treated to some incredible vendors such as award winning, magazine published Glitter & Spice, Vancouver’s own Reclaimed Print Co, and some up and coming vendors including The Spotted Life, and Wicks Candle and Craft Co. With their $3 admission shoppers will be entered to win one of two door prizes with contributions from all of our vendors totaling over $400!
We know there are tons of great vendors attending the SHIFT Handmade Spring Market but can you choose 3 – 5 to tell us more about?
Maria Ida Designs creates one of a kind, blown glass art specializing in globes, vases, cups and bowls. Her use of colour and shape is absolutely stunning and something you need to see for yourself in person! Each piece is a work of art!
Blink Kids is a modern, comfy, high quality fashion line for the small people in your life. Blink Kids is all about creating new and exciting items that are perfect for everyday wear. Inspired by her own two children, owner/creator Amanda offers tried and true clothing and accessories for both boys and girls!
With a few tools and her own two hands Rachael of Laughing Sparrow fabricates all of her pieces of jewelry using traditional and modern goldsmithing techniques. None of her pieces are cast or mass produced, meaning each item is unique. With ethically sourced materials, Laughing Sparrow creates modern and minimalistic jewelry.
No one is more passionate about Mason Jars than Marie aka The Jar Girl. She’s been collecting jars for almost a decade and is your one stop shop for all your mason jar needs. She does it all-from renting out jars for events to selling hand poured candles, drinking jars, and accessories to go with!
Our job is to create beautiful memories; Lost Arts Cafe‘s job is to create gorgeous, handbound books for us to keep them in! From the first fold of the paper to the final stitch, Loralei makes each piece meticulously by hand. Your story is important, why not give it the recognition it deserves, with a journal from Lost Arts Cafe?
The SHIFT has put on successful pop-ups in the past; which elements do you think made them a hit?
Our vibe attracts our tribe! As sisters, we both bring our strengths to the market; Jill is highly organized, and Leslie is creatively driven. Combined these forces make us unstoppable. We work hard before the market, so that the day of the event is super, happy, fun time! Market day is like our Christmas-we thrive on meeting shoppers, vendors, and doling out high fives!
Of the vendors you come across, what’s consistent in handmade products that stand out to you and to your shoppers?
We have seen that vendors who haven’t found their niche, or try to do too much of everything, aren’t as successful. When jurying a market sometimes we have to eliminate vendors who cross over into too many categories, and that bums us out. We understand it’s hard to commit to ONE THING, but by making that commitment and sticking with it, vendors will really see their brand grow and thrive! When you specialize in one craft it builds your credibility as a maker, and increases the quality of your work. By dabbling in multiple crafts you come off as a jack of all trades and a master of none.
In working with handmade artisans, both as a peer and as a market, the thing that really stands out to us is the pure passion people are putting into their products. This passion comes across in how they represent their brand-from their website, to the packaging, to their booth set up and their energy when interacting with customers. The majority of our vendors are craftipreneurs-their handmade business doesn’t necessarily sustain them financially; it sustains them creatively. We are passionate about supporting these vendors-people who have committed to their vision and are bringing it to life at our market.
What about vendor spaces; what tips do you have for vendors to create an attractive display?
How long do we have? Just kidding! But our biggest tips are to be flexible in how you set your space up. You might miss out on a great market because you are used to working with a 10×10 space. Similarly if you’re new to the crafty world and haven’t done a market yet, test run your booth in your kitchen or sewing room to see how it could look. No matter what, make sure you take photos of your set up! Markets are interested in seeing how you display your products, but it also says a lot about you as a vendor; did you rush and throw everything on the table willy nilly, or did you showcase your products and encourage customers to interact with them.
Any advice when it comes to sales techniques to help vendors get the most out of sales on event day?
In one sentence, TALK TO EVERYONE! Sometimes a smile isn’t enough. Say hi! Notice their funky shoes, or the cool brooch they’re wearing. Find a way to engage with them. One of Leslie’s sales mentors encouraged her to treat every shopper like her best friend-and she does! This leads into a conversation where you can tell them more about what you do, what your products are and how the products fit into their life. If you approach sales as meeting a need for that customer, it doesn’t have to feel pushy. When you truly believe in your product, it should be easy to sell. Both of us have so much sales experience it feels like we could fill a book….maybe we will?
Anything else you’d like to share about your event?
We love meeting established and new vendors! Never shy away from applying for our market-even if it’s your first one. Got questions? ASK US! We’re super cool and funny and goofy and not scary! Contact us on social media, follow us on Facebook, or pop by the market and say hi!
We’re also SUPER PUMPED to announce our SHIFT Handmade Christmas Remix will be happening on Saturday December 3rd from 10am-5pm!!! Applications will be opening May 2nd!
And don’t forget to shop for mom on Saturday April 30th! We’d love to see your beautiful face at the SHIFT! And high five….your hand, not your face.