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the makers pop-up bazaar

Every fall, Ottawa bursts at the seams with pop-up markets and craft shows, and I think it's because this town is absolutely packed with talented folks doing their thing. I've been lucky enough to meet and work with so many talented makers over the years, and I'm always thrilled when another event comes along to showcase them.

Well, there's a new show launching this Saturday right in my own neighbourhood: the Makers Pop-Up Bazaar. From the moment I first heard about this show on Instagram (thanks @jenkbjewelry!), I was intrigued. This little event has a lot of heart and I caught up with creative force behind the concept to find out more.

Image courtesy The Freewheeling Curator


Amanda is an Ottawa woman known online and in creative circles as The Freewheeling Curator. She's made it her mission to collect and showcase the very best in Canadian handmade design, and I asked her share what drove her to get started and her vision for the Makers Pop-Up Bazaar:

"I have one big passionate mission: making consumerism more meaningful to your community and celebrating the creative handmade brands developing in Canada. I want you to know who made the products you buy, what their inspirations are and how the products are made, and to celebrate how this relationship helps the brands being built in your communities grow. I want to tell you their stories, share their work with you and help you make meaningful purchases from the passionate makers in your community.

My goal is simple: to offer exceptional handmade goods, to be a relevant community for emerging and established makers on the Canadian craft scene, and empower the makers behind the brands to grow their businesses in creative ways."

Image courtesy The Freewheeling Curator


WHAT: Pop-up bazaar with 40+ makers, workshops every hour, local eats, arts showcase

WHEN: Saturday October 17, 2015, from 10:00am to 5:00pm

WHERE: Makerspace North, 250 City Centre Ave, Unit 216 (near Art-Is-In Bakery and Orange Gallery)

COST: $5 admission with proceeds going to Ottawa Innercity Ministries

I don't know about you but I can hardly wait for Saturday and I've already got a shopping list a mile long. I'll be on-site as soon as the doors open and will be live tweeting my favourite picks at the show, so keep an eye on your Twitter and Instagram feeds!

Image courtesy The Freewheeling Curator


That said, this isn't only a shopping event: Amanda wanted to take her concept a step further and give back to the local community:

"For Saturday's event, we've partnered with the Ottawa Innercity Ministry to develop a mentorship program for the at-risk youth.

We'll be pairing up 8 kids with participating vendors who will mentor them on how they started their own business, and the lessons they've learned through being an independent entrepreneur. These youth will be at the event on Saturday showcasing their arts program and helping to run the event, making it a rich educational experience for them."

Image courtesy The Freewheeling Curator


And if that wasn't enough, Amanda has even developed a new initiative called the “Emerging Maker Award". This award will celebrate brands that have developed this year in the 613, and that show potential to grow into an established brand in 2016.

The winner will receive a coaching package that will focus on SEO and web development, social media strategies, branding & customer service strategies, and a wholesale/profitability strategy. The winner will be part of a special feature on The Freewheeling Curator's website and email blast to its fan base.

Partners for the award include The SEO Squirrel, Maker House Co., The Sweetest Digs, and Makerspace North. Finalists will be announced on November 7, 2015, and the public will vote on a winner that will be announced on November 15, 2015.


I'm incredibly impressed with the show Amanda's put together and can hardly wait to meet her in person this Saturday. Come on out to the Makers Pop-Up Bazaar and say hi!

Image courtesy the Freewheeling Curator


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