News / Calgary

Enormous craft fair ‘Make It’ returns to Calgary

More than 275 vendors will show off unique, home-made wares

Jenna Herbut surveys the throngs of ‘makies’ at last year’s Edmonton event.

Courtesy Make It

Jenna Herbut surveys the throngs of ‘makies’ at last year’s Edmonton event.

Calgary’s going to make it after all – the Make It craft fair is returning to Calgary after a five-year hiatus.

Make It has been a regular feature in Vancouver and Edmonton for the past nine years, but the organizers couldn’t keep it going in Calgary due to a lack of space for it. The Make It fair usually has a few hundred vendors from around the country, including a solid chunk of local content.

Thanks to an opening at the Big Four building and an explosion of maker culture in Calgary, Make It is putting on a large-scale show in April.

But what is Make It? In short – everything homemade. Founder Jenna Herbut said it includes clothing, jewellery, home décor, food, baby items, art – all made by the type of people who aren’t strangers to duel wielding hot glue guns or drawers of organized fabrics.

Courtesy Make It

“It’s a very rewarding feeling for makers, that satisfaction of completing something and having something tangible,” said Herbut. “For shoppers, they get that experience of hearing the story of the person who created the product. Hearing their inspiration and process. It makes gift-giving that much more thoughtful.”

The show grew out of Herbut’s own love for making. Just after university, Herbut launched Booty Beltz – a stylish scarf belt she made herself.

That eventually led to the first Make It event in Edmonton with 21 booths, which has now grown to about 275 booths. She gives credit to Internet marketplaces, like Etsy and other online communities, which have given makers an easy place to sell and connect.

Makerspaces in Calgary, where people pay a small membership fee to use expensive equipment and collaborate (like Protospace or Archeloft), have grown monumentally in popularity.

Make It runs from April 7 to 9 at the Big Four building in Calgary. For more information, visit www.makeitshow.ca.

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