The story of the
Lethbridge Handmade Market
Lethbridge Handmade Market is a community-driven marketplace created and organized by two friends and artisans. We, Jessy Gust and Annie Waldner, saw a need for more community support of our local handmade economy. Approaching our 15th market within 2.5 years, we have successfully created a place for local artisans to share their talent with the community. We are passionate about getting the “Shop Local” message out. Lethbridge Handmade Market is a place where any artisan can find a community. Whether they are just starting or have been selling their handmade items for years, we have a place for them!
Lethbridge Handmade Market is an independent marketplace created by artisans for artisans! Lethbridge Handmade Market is a community-driven marketplace created and organized by two friends and artisans. We, Jessy Gust and Annie Waldner, saw a need for more community support of our local handmade economy. Approaching our 15th market within 2.5 years, we have successfully created a place for local artisans to share their talent with the community. We are passionate about getting the “Shop Local” message out. Our purpose is to promote local art, culture, and build up the community through showcasing handmade goods. We strive to collaboratively create a community-directed marketplace in order to support local creativity. It was born from the imagination of two friends and artisans who saw a need to bring a unique marketplace to Lethbridge. The founder, Jessy Gust is not only an artisan, but a teacher, a traveler, and entrepreneur with an educational background in marketing. The co- founder Annie Waldner, also an artisan, is a horticultural tech, a graphic designer, also with a background in business. Together, we find inspiration in the talent in our community everyday and it keeps us motivated to strive to create the best platform for our artisans to showcase that talent.We strive to create an experience apart from any other event. At our shows, you’ll find a stage and a full day line-up of local musicians put on by the local university radio station, a photo booth, a community painting, and other activities. Artisans also have the opportunity to teach workshops at each market as a way to promote themselves further and keep the community involved. During the summer months, we also invite food trucks! LHM started out in community hall basement space with 30 vendors. We have now grown into the Main Pavilion of Lethbridge Exhibition Park where we boast from 130 to 170 local vendors and over 2,000 shoppers each market. We are extremely proud to make that impact on our community and will continue to dedicate our time to supporting the “Shop Local” movement. In 2019 and 2020, we are on schedule to hold 6 markets each year. Each market is a unique shopping experience featuring a distinctive list of artisans from Lethbridge, southern Alberta and across Canada. This is accomplished through a curation system where by at least 30% of each market is made up of new vendors and artists. As well, each market, a new theme is introduced and graphic package is designed including a poster, tickets, vouchers, and social media posts. Many of our vendors choose to take part by creating some of their items with our theme in mind. We have cultivated a market culture of inclusion, positivity, community, and support. Lethbridge Handmade Market sees the demand for a diversified local economy and our goal is to meet that demand by engaging our community to create a local economy that is sustained by its residents - those who create, those who attend, those who purchase, even those who share our social media.
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♥ Jessy, Annie and our intern Kozmo *woof*!