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Hey folks! You made it through Black Fri­day. You sur­vived Cyber Mon­day. You’ve got most of your hol­i­day shop­ping done, but you’re still look­ing for that one cool, unique gift that you just haven’t been able to find.

If that sounds like your hol­i­day shop­ping expe­ri­ence right now, you might be miss­ing out on some of the best and most unique gifts you can give this sea­son. And the best part? They’re right in your own backyard!

UMFM was lucky enough to spend a day at LITE Winnipeg’s hol­i­day mar­ket on Decem­ber 1, 2018, and there are a ton of amaz­ing gifts ideas that were dis­played. Over 40 ven­dors had tables set up with food, cloth­ing, hand-sewn gifts, wood­work­ing, pot­tery, and a whole host of oth­er wares that could be picked up for very minis­cule prices. Near­ly all were unique in their designs, and all the ven­dors are right here from in Winnipeg!

Win­nipeg’s in love with craft mar­kets right now that cel­e­brate the fan­tas­tic local arti­sans and entre­pre­neurs of our city,” Tyler Pearce, exec­u­tive direc­tor of LITE Win­nipeg said. All of these ven­dors are local arti­sans and crafters, and every pen­ny spent at these booths goes direct­ly into sup­port­ing these ven­dors and entre­pre­neurs while strength­en­ing our community.”

Tyler is entire­ly right in stat­ing this, and the sup­port giv­en to some of the ven­dors by LITE Win­nipeg has helped them not only start­up a busi­ness, but allowed them to pass on those lessons and mes­sages to oth­er entre­pre­neurs who are inter­est­ed in start­ing their own busi­ness­es as well. In oth­er words, your pur­chas­es from these busi­ness­es and entre­pre­neurs not only helps one busi­ness, but may indi­rect­ly help hun­dreds of busi­ness­es down the line. That’s entire­ly the kind of spend­ing that UMFM likes to see!

If you are still look­ing for some­thing unique to com­plete your gift-giv­ing this hol­i­day sea­son, please con­sid­er one of these local busi­ness and/​or entre­pre­neurs who were fea­tured at the LITE Win­nipeg hol­i­day mar­ket this year:

  • LITE Win­nipeg: LITE will accept dona­tions any time of the year, but they are sell­ing a new prod­uct called the LITE BOX which fea­tures some amaz­ing food items, some incred­i­ble art, and some LITE gear.
  • One Nation Exchange: O.N.E. is a not-for-prof­it organization</a> that cre­ates oppor­tu­ni­ties and encour­ages inter­cul­tur­al expe­ri­ences, train­ing, and employ­ment. They help women new to Win­nipeg by teach­ing sewing, bead­ing, and tex­tiles while plac­ing an empha­sis on work-life rela­tion­ships by allow­ing these women to work from home with flex­i­ble sched­ul­ing for family.
  • Jodi Hilde­brand Art: Jodi is an inde­pen­dent artist whose works have a style all their own</a>. Her paint­ings of plants real­ly caught my eye at her booth! She’s an incred­i­ble per­son whose artis­tic tal­ents shouldn’t be missed if you’re look­ing for a unique piece of art this season.
  • Sabrina’s Cook­ies: Sab­ri­na is an Alger­ian immi­grant who makes cook­ies in tra­di­tion­al Alger­ian style as well as old favorites like choco­late chip and oat­meal-raisin. She doesn’t have a store­front, but she is inter­est­ed in expand­ing her cook­ie and cater­ing busi­ness. She can be reached by phone at 2048131659 if you’re inter­est­ed in an order of deli­cious cookies!
  • Mary Jane’s Cook­ing School: Maybe you’re look­ing for an expe­ri­ence as opposed to a gift for a loved one? Mary Jane’s Cook­ing School offers cook­ing class­es for all sorts of deli­cious meals and foods includ­ing veg­an class­es and class­es for kids!
  • Dan the Carv­er: Dan Wald­man spe­cial­ty is carv­ing unique and one-of-a-kind bowls from sin­gle cross-sec­tions of wood. He does carve oth­er items as well, but his work in mak­ing hand-carved bowls is sim­ply amazing!
  • MITT Youth­build: Man­i­to­ba Insti­tute of Trades and Tech­nol­o­gy start­ed the Youth­build pro­gram to help Indige­nous stu­dents aged 19 – 35 earn cours­es to com­plete their high school diplo­ma and/​or learn a trade for future employ­ment. There’s a strong empha­sis on Indige­nous val­ues in the pro­gram, and MITT offers tours for those who may be more inter­est­ed! The stu­dents often sell their car­pen­try cre­ations with bird­hous­es and camp­fire chairs being extreme­ly pop­u­lar pur­chas­es at the LITE hol­i­day market!
  • African Pot: Gladys Ama Bruce had all sorts of incred­i­ble African jew­el­ry and cloth­ing at her table where African Pot show­cased African prod­ucts made by mul­ti-tal­ent­ed and hard-work­ing local peo­ple. If you’re look­ing for local­ly-craft­ed African wares, African Pot should be visited!
  • Laura’s Under­There: Lau­ra Everett is doing an amaz­ing job cre­at­ing upcy­cled, gen­der­ful, and fun under­wear, but for every pair sold she also donates a pair of under­wear to some­one who is expe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness or pover­ty! How awe­some is that? Get your butt lit­er­al­ly into Laura’s Under­There under­wear and help some­one else get their butt into a pair as well!
  • Cac­tus Cocoon: If you’re a plant per­son, Kat­ri­na Craig has one of the coolest ideas for your plants! She makes, among oth­er things, cozies for plants! Cac­tus Cocoon also has plant-dyed shirts and wooly wall hang­ings, but the cozies are def­i­nite­ly a must-have for plant lovers!
  • Cree-Ations: This unique busi­ness fea­tures tra­di­tion­al Indige­nous designs and cloth­ing where one-of-a-kind gifts are made by hand. Every­thing from muk­luks and moc­casins to blan­kets to orna­ments for Christ­mas are fea­tured at Cree-Ations!
  • Gozie’s Bread: Car­olin may have had the best-tast­ing cin­na­mon buns that have ever been fea­tured at the hol­i­day mar­ket. She uses only local­ly-sourced ingre­di­ents while employ­ing tra­di­tion­al bak­ing and cook­ing meth­ods. Gozie’s Bread is high­ly recommended!
  • Cit­i­zens of Craft: This table had a ton of vis­i­tors thanks to the dozens of hand-craft­ed, hand-sewn ani­mals and dolls fea­tured! Jean­nette and Mau­rice Dza­ma can make almost any ani­mal out of wool, so if you’re look­ing for your favorite felt­ed sculp­ture, vis­it Cit­i­zens of Craft !
  • Kath­leen Shell­rude Stu­dios: Kath­leens art­work, gifts, and pot­tery were eye-catch­ing at the mar­ket. She has ded­i­cat­ed her­self to art after teach­ing and work­ing with street-involved women, and she real­ly has cre­at­ed beau­ti­ful pieces.
  • Tri­cia Geske Jew­el­ry: Tricia’s work has her going to all sorts of flea mar­kets and junk­yards to find unique pieces she crafts into amaz­ing ear­rings, neck­laces, and brooches. Each piece is unique in terms of its craft­ing. Tri­cia doesn’t have a store­front or web­site yet, but she can be reached via email at tricia.​[email protected]​gmail.​com for more information.
  • The Cut­ting Edge: For­mer­ly known as Sew­Fair which began in 2008, The Cut­ting Edge teach­es women new to Win­nipeg how to design and sew tex­tile prod­ucts in an eth­i­cal­ly- and pro­fes­sion­al­ly-man­aged man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty. With this train­ing, The Cut­ting Edge helps women find jobs in the tex­tile indus­try as well as encour­ag­ing those with entre­pre­neur­ship dreams to fol­low those dreams.