Put Something Local Under Your Tree!
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 204−813−1659 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: Kathleen’s 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 email@example.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.