February 25th, 2024

Handmade market a hit with Christmas shoppers


By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on December 5, 2023.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Youngster Adaleya Bryce looks for a handmade item from the Lex &Li booth during the Lethbridge Handmade Market's Holi-Yay event Saturday.

More than 130 handmade artisans packed a hall in the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre on Saturday for the Lethbridge Handmade Market’s annual Holi-Yay.

Thousands of people came to do anything from checking boxes off on their Christmas list with some shopping to listen to live music and browse all the booths.

The Laula Handmade business has been at the market for five years and their booth was busy for people looking to stay warm with toques, mittens or headbands.

Nicole Blenkin is one of five makers in the Laula Handmade family business.

“It’s always a great crowd and lots of appreciative people,” said Blenkin.

“They’re looking around, they do appreciate the handmade things, they appreciate the creativity and the hard work that goes into it. So it’s really wonderful. It’s always busy and we always have a good time here.”

The staff try to make sure customers find the right toque.

“We like to help them find their unique toque; that’s usually what we like to do,” said Blenkin.

“Each of them are different and the pom poms move around. And so, everyone gets to try the right one on and we try to help them find the perfect one for them.”

Market volunteer Brittany Bryce thinks in the three years she has been involved with the markets this was the busiest one she has seen.

“A lot of people I don’t recognize and a lot of people who haven’t been to one of these before,” said Bryce.

“So I guess it’s starting to reach a little bit farther into the community.”

Bryce makes a point to stop at one particular booth when she comes.

“I always come to Lex and Li to see Ash every time I come to one of these markets,” said Bryce.

“She’s such a talented artist.”

Lex and Li Designs make polymer clay, jewelry and accessories.

“People can experience a unique handmade selection of artisans that you can’t find anywhere else,” said Jessy Gust, manager and owner of the Lethbridge Handmade Market.

“Each one of our markets is a revolving different amount of artists. We have 30 brand new vendors that have never been in our market before this one and we continue to have about 30 per cent brand new each time. So it’s always a unique experience, there’s always different artists.”

There was live music and a scavenger hunt for kids.

“You can find something for everybody,” said Gust.

The Lethbridge Handmade Market does three events a year in April, October and December.

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