It seemed appropriate to get our first winter’s snow on the morning of the Christmas Handmade Market. It added a wonderfully festive atmosphere to the whole day. The air was fresh, cheeks were rosy, and everything took on a holiday glow.
It was a pleasant experience to avoid all the Black Friday kerfuffle and instead take in a charming, unique outdoor market shopping experience. No packed lines, standing out in the cold and dark morning air. No shallow breathing to avoid deeply inhaling entire crowd’s horrible morning breath. No pushing and squeezing past neighbours quickly turned competitors, attempting to rocket yourself to a high-demand item.
Instead of all that hullabaloo, the Christmas Handmade Market was a wholly pleasing experience. Families strolled each vendor’s stall at their own pace. Every item was accessible and within arm’s reach, with helpful artists patiently waiting to talk about their craft and passion. People were smiling, chatting and genuinely enjoying themselves.
Dan and I made our way to several of the artisans, even taking a moment to chat with a few of them. I wasn’t aware that the Handmade Market even existed but I was quickly converted to this idea of gift-giving.
We live in a world of mass-production and it’s a constant struggle to be original. Buying gifts is more laborious as internet shopping and instant-gratification have become more prevalent in our lives. It can be a struggle to think of a gift one doesn’t already have sitting on their counter or in their closet. Local artisans are a great cure for this problem! When something is handmade and wholly original, it adds that ‘fun’ element to gift-giving that seems to be missing these days.
Aside from the topic of gifts, it’s important to stress how important local shopping is. Buying local has so many advantages! It can:
- Strengthen economic growth of Niagara
- Reduce environmental impact
- Increase and stabilize local jobs
So what’s the Handmade Market all about? In their words…
The HandMade Market is a travelling boutique shopping experience that promotes the handmade arts, local artisans and a ‘small-box’ sweat-shop-free atmosphere.
The Christmas Handmade Market ran on the weekend of November 24 & 25 at two different locations, The Good Earth Food and Wine Co. and Fielding Estate Winery. It was only a small entry fee of $2 for the entire event plus an additional $2 if you wanted to take advantage of their handy shuttle in between both locations.
Both Fielding Estate Winery and The Good Earth Food and Wine Co. offered a different assortment of artisans and food choices. It’s a unique approach to setting up a market like this. Some would try to smoosh everything together at a single location, swelling the land and crowding the shoppers. Hosting this Handmade Market separately lets everything breath and shoppers feel less pressured to leave from crowds.
That’s not to say the event wasn’t busy, because there were plenty of people in attendance. I was very impressed since we arrived only an hour after opening and the place was hopping!
So, if you were one of the lucky people out at this event, what did you buy? Did you see something you liked? Please leave a comment!
If you are interested in purchasing or learning more about any of the artisans above, please let me know and I’ll send you their contact information.
Fourth Annual Outdoor
Christmas Handmade Market
November 24th & 25th, 2012, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Held simultaneously at 2 winery locations in Twenty Valley
Fielding Estate Winery, 4020 Locust Lane, Beamsville, Ontario
The Good Earth Food and Wine Co., 4556 Lincoln Avenue, Beamsville, Ontario