Spring market gives new local artisans a place to sell their goods

Vendor-run organization helps crafters gain experience

4 min read
caption Jahtaya Skeete, 14, organizes a rack of tie-dyed clothing at the Spring Equinox Market on March 17. Jahtaya started selling hand-dyed apparel, through her business Taya Ties, four years ago when she was just 10 years old.
Jenna Olsen

Local artisans who are new to selling their wares gained experience last month at a market organized by a group dedicated to featuring underrepresented vendors.

That group, Different Folks, hosted a market at the Halifax Brewery Market on March 17 helping local artisans gain experience and boost their clientele by reaching Haligonians.

Different Folks’ market co-ordinator and vendor Kayti Baur said the vendor-run organization works to fill a gap.

caption Kayti Baur behind her booth at the Spring Equinox Market. Baur is the co-ordinator for Different Folks, which hosts markets to promote vendors who, according to Baur, “aren’t usually the dominant force in a room.”
Jenna Olsen

“We try to fill the spots for vendors with something new and also give people from underrepresented and underemployed groups a way to have an entrepreneurial experience that is relatively low barrier,” she said.

caption Customers check out vendors’ booths at the Spring Equinox Market. The market was held at the Halifax Brewery Market by Different Folks, who started hosting local artisan markets in April 2023.
Jenna Olsen

Since Baur started Different Folks in February 2023, she has organized queer markets, multicultural markets, youth markets and disability markets.

caption Norm Elias hands customer Bee Mallory their purchase from her shop Norm’s Niche. Three and a half years ago, Elias left her job as a nurse and started selling handmade jewelry made from materials she sources from other small businesses.
Jenna Olsen
caption Beaded necklaces are displayed at the Norm’s Niche. Following an injury, owner Norm Elias said she “was tinkering with jewelry and it was something I used to do when I was little and it reignited my obsession voraciously and I’ve just been making jewelry ever since.”
Jenna Olsen

For the Spring Equinox Market on March 17, Baur herself was selling hair clips, earrings, water glasses and other crafts.

“We rotate our vendors a lot but this market was specifically about getting some vendors who hadn’t necessarily been to a lot of markets to try and give more people the opportunity,” she said. “It’s a good way to break into the market world right before the market season starts.”

caption Dani Parker adjusts a witch’s broom she handmade from ethically sourced wood. Parker started selling “witchy items” through her shop Lune and Vine after having kids made her realize she “didn’t want to have a regular job again.”
Jenna Olsen

Different Folks partnered with the Transformation Closet from Sexual Health Nova Scotia to provide gender-affirming care and gear for free at the market.

“They’re a nonprofit and we always try to have at least one non-profit or a fundraising table at our markets,” Baur said. “We have a strong presence in the queer community so we’re trying to help them get exposure to the clients they will be targeting.”

Wren Tian, the Transformation Closet’s program co-ordinator minded a booth with information about the program and free gender-affirming gear like binders and trans tape for any attendees who might need them.

caption Program co-ordinator Wren Tian waits to help attendees at the market’s Transformation Closet booth. The Transformation Closet partnered with Different Folks at the market, and provides free gender-affirming gear for anyone in Nova Scotia.
Jenna Olsen

“We’re always looking for different opportunities to go to different pop-up events because we don’t have a physical space other than some of our pick-up centres,” Tian said. “They’re very welcoming and sweet and we feel very fortunate they are able to provide us a nice space as a non-profit for free.”

Share this

About the author

Have a story idea?