This weekend we are heading over to one of our favourite local shows, the Handmade Market. Held on Friday, May 6th and Saturday, May 7th at 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines, this show is full of creative artisans, amazing food and fantastic wine!
If you have never been to the Handmade Market, we thought we would give you the low down on exactly what the show is about and how it came to be. We talked to founders, husband and wife team, Jennifer and Mark Elliotson to get all the facts straight from the source.
Jennifer smiles as she tells us all about how the show started in their living room in 2009, as a place for her to sell her sewing creations. She invited her artist friends, who loved showing each other their work and the next year everyone wanted to do it again. They had outgrown their home space and started the Christmas Handmade Market, choosing different wineries to host at, which made the shopping experience feel special and luxurious. Allowing anyone the opportunity to visit these beautiful locations, enjoy great wine, gourmet food (trucks) and shop for handcrafted, quality goods, made by local artisans was a unique concept in Niagara and market patrons looked forward to attending each season. This is the reason they created the mantra "Shop, Sip, Savour." Jennifer and Mark now host three markets per year- Spring, Fall and Christmas.
This year the couple is adding a fourth market to the lineup with the addition of the Summer Solstice Market in June. With longer market days they will add to the enjoyment of the experience with a stage for evening music. Attendees can savour both the art and the wine into the evening as they experience the market in a new light. This event is family friendly, but seems to be a favourite outing for women and their girlfriends.
We always love the artisan markets, as it celebrates, what we do here at Lousje and Bean and is a fantastic way to promote Canadian made goods and local business. The Elliotsons have carefully maintained the Handmade Market as a boutique artisan experience, featuring products created by local artisans and small businesses. It is their mandate to promote the handmade arts while offering a local and ethical shopping alternative in an upscale atmosphere.
We will have our Spring/Summer line on hand along with a few other goodies for those attending the show. You can bet that at some point over the weekend you will see us enjoying one of 13th Street Wineries amazing butter tarts, paired with a cold glass of wine as we take a break to appreciate some of our fellow show exhibitors and artisan friends. This community of makers is so unbelievably talented and there are truly so many treasures to find at this show. For those looking for a last minute gift for Mother's Day, you just may find the perfect piece here. Or, bring Mom along for a day out to shop, sip and savour!
Jennifer and Mark shared with us their top tips for enjoying the market so we have added them here to ensure you get the most out of your shopping experience.
TIP #1: Ready. Set. Shop! With over 100 artisans, you're sure to grab some interesting one-of-a-kind finds!
TIP #2: Sip a glass of wine while you stroll and shop. Enough said.
TIP #3: Bring cash. If you forget, it’s okay .. we do have an ATM on site and some artisans may take credit/debit cards.
TIP #4: Come hungry! We have a gaggle of gourmet food trucks and, of course, the 13th St. Bakery and Marketplace is open!
TIP #5: Wear weather appropriate clothing and footwear. The spring market is entirely outdoors and runs in all weather.
TIP #6: At our spring market, Saturday is the most popular day to attend, so consider visiting anytime on Friday or Saturday before 10:30 and after 3:00pm if you want to avoid the crush.
TIP #7: Relax, slow down and enjoy the experience! You are supporting small local artisanal businesses. No wonder you feel all warm and fuzzy! (Or is that the wine?) Either way, it’s all good!
We hope to see you out this weekend for a clink of the glass and a cheers to the start of the Spring and Summer season!