Maker Market was created to give people who make things a chance to share their creativity with their community. A lot of people have an interest in making things with their hands and because of the ease of setting up shop online through Etsy or Big Cartel, a lot of people have small businesses now too. Even though Milwaukee has empty storefronts, it doesn't mean that there aren't more small businesses then ever. It just means that you can't see them when you walk down the street in your neighborhood.
Creating a marketplace for these businesses has a few goals. The first goal is to build community. Not only will shoppers visit to see what is on display and meet the creative people who make things, but creative people will meet other creative people. Building community through a network of support strengthens the community.
The second goal is to build business. There is no other monthly venue in the city where you can find more vendors selling what they make. By shopping at Maker Market, you are directly supporting these artists, crafters, designers and makers as they are building their business. It is the easiest way to shop local and because you are buying directly from the artist you know exactly where your money is going.
The third goal is to inspire and encourage. Having an aspiration to have a creative business can be a lonely place when your only venue to sell is to a faceless email address and when your only feedback is in a comment section. Maker Market brings people face to face. If you find that perfect bag at this market, the look on your face and your willingness to purchase it will encourage that maker to continue. It will help the business to grow and as the business grows, our local economy is strengthened further.
Join us by participating as Maker Market ends its second season.
Cortney Heimerl, founder and organizer
Cortney has been organizing marketplace events since 2010. One of her favorite aspects to making these venues is to watch how businesses grow and develop over time. As a maker herself, she also finds surrounding herself with creative people to be incredibly inspiring. Hover Craft, Maker Market, PBR Fest, Mitten Fest and the NEWaukee Night Market are just a few of the marketplace events she coordinates. Visit her website to learn more.
Ashley Smith, co-organizer
As a small and bossy child, Ashley started event planning early with tea parties and quarterly variety shows at family gatherings. In her later years she has taken this skill and used it to strengthen the Milwaukee creative community. Ashley is a founding organizer of Hover Craft, Maker Market, One Trick Pony, and Girls Rock MKE.