Arts and Crafts for Sale at Chatham-Kent Virtual Market



Nearly two dozen artists, artisans and craftspeople will be selling their products online this weekend at the Chatham-Kent Virtual Summer Market.

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Nearly two dozen artists, artisans and craftspeople will be selling their products online this weekend at the Chatham-Kent Virtual Summer Market.

Buyers can visit the Marketplace’s Facebook page to view products and contact sellers Friday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

“It’s basically a platform for local businesses to promote and sell their products because there are no craft shows, there are no farmers markets,” said organizer Joanne Tan. -Warren. “It’s a great platform. It’s virtual and anyone can simply shop from the comfort of their home. “

Last Christmas’s first virtual marketplace generated more than $ 10,000 in revenue for its 19 vendors, she said. Twenty-three vendors will participate this time.

The market will also include a fundraising auction for Access Open Minds Chatham-Kent, which provides mental health support to youth and their families. The first market raised $ 1,100.

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Supplier profiles with product information are added to the Facebook page throughout the week.

The market has over 3,000 members. Membership is free and anyone can join.

“Just a click of a button and you’re automatically in the market,” Tan-Warren said. “You can browse all the products shared on the wall. If you see something you like, it’s simple. You just need to comment or message the seller, then the seller will walk you through the process. “

This weekend, each seller can post once per hour.

“Due to its virtual nature, we try not to clutter the Facebook wall too much, as it will overwhelm buyers,” Tan-Warren said.

There are plans to have a market this fall and another at Christmas, she said. Members ultimately want to offer physical and virtual markets, she added.

“There has been some discussion among the founding members that once the lockdown and all the restrictions are lifted, we plan to make it a bigger one – an in-person market, so it’s not virtual,” Tan said. -Warren. “Then we can accept that more small businesses come and become part of the market.

“At the moment we unfortunately cannot have too many due to the nature of the virtual market. We cannot have too many suppliers. If we have 50, it will corrupt the whole wall and defeat the purpose of shopping and browsing online. “

Since there are no tents to set up or space to rent, the virtual marketplace is free for sellers, Tan-Warren said. Most promotions are done by word of mouth on social media.

“The best part about it is all the artisans and all the artists, the artisans, they’re all women entrepreneurs,” she said. “Somehow it happened that way. We invited a few male entrepreneurs to join us, but they didn’t end up joining us. “



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