The Calgary Grassroots Farmers’ Market is a fantastic way to spend time outdoors, meet new people and support creative local goods.
Roughly 30 assorted vendors gathered on Tuesday, Sept. 10 in a humble north Calgary parking lot to display their hard work and skills.
Some people have spent years developing a trade or product, while others are less experienced. However, each and every vendor is here to interact.
“It’s so good for you to be healthy and creative,” says Amanda Lea, owner and jewelry maker for Kre8tive LEAf Boutique.
Lea makes bracelets, necklaces and earrings out of feathers, wire, beads and knot sequences.
She began by making small pieces of jewelry for her friends, which created demand for her unique and artsy designs.
It prompted her to sell her pieces online and in farmers’ markets.
“I get to meet lots of people, and I really like to talk.”
She says that her favourite part and inspiration for her endeavor is the chance to make new friends.
This is her first and only current outdoor market arrangement. Other purchases can be made online by searching Kre8tive LEAf Boutique on Facebook.
Lea has two neighbours on this day. On her right was a smiling woman named Grace Dicks, who sells free-trade baskets. Each basket is hand-made in Ghana by men and women living there in order to support their community.
“The women do all of the weaving.
“The men do the handles, which are made usually of sheep skin, but can also be made with vegan materials,” Dicks explained in her kind voice.
“Every time I get an order, one speaks to me,” she laughed, noting that she has over 20 baskets in her home.
The beautiful and durable baskets are reasonably priced and come in various designs and sizes.
Dicks only deals with reputable businesses that offer higher than standard pay, and supplies to Ghana communities. Her cause can be researched in more detail at www.AfricanMarketbaskets.com.
Another young woman who is a hairstylist and make-up artist by trade, makes customized nail polishes in front of customers at their request.
Michelle Wai, 27, says she thoroughly enjoys her time at the Grassroots market, even though it is her first time here. She is a Calgary based hair and makeup stylist, who says she has gained many new clients by working at the market.
“My favorite thing here is the people.
“I get to see [Amanda and Grace] every week, meet new people each time and just socialize,” says Wai.
She began by watching YouTube videos to learn how to mix different bases with glitter, colours and layers.
Wai welcomes new clients, and can be reached at www.quirkstar.com.
What brings these women together is their creativity, enthusiasm and delight in participating in a community event. Each of them enjoy speaking to their customers, as well as each other.
The farmers’ market is currently managed by the Grassroots Skaters Foundation, where most of the market proceeds go. It is open for 18 weeks a year, from the first week of June to the last Tuesday of September.
This market is incredibly friendly, and is absolutely well worth the drive.