Staycationing is the new vacationing, and supporting local – including our non-profits – has never felt better and more important than it does right now. While you’re keeping yourself – and your dollars – close to home, one forward-minded local artist-slash-entrepreneur has a great new spot to add to your radar.

Made Local Marketplace was started by Hilary Germsheid to support the tight-knit community she’s become part of over her 14 years as a full-time artist – a community that normally relies heavily on the major markets and art shows that happen across the country, especially leading up to the holiday season. For obvious reasons, those large events aren’t happening this year, and not only are artists and makers feeling the economic impact, but the vibe and atmosphere of these markets, and the accessibility of local art and handcrafted items, is being sorely missed by the rest of us, too. 

“The concept was to go through the community I’ve built relationships with, gather a collection of local artists and makers, and create a bit of that local market feel,” Hilary shared of the inspiration for her new venture. 

The bricks-and-mortar location of Made Local Marketplace is found in Calgary’s Westman Village, a neighbourhood that Hilary says has been incredibly supportive and a perfect fit for the shop. Here, Hilary is aiming to offer the tactile, personal feel of the markets we aren’t able to browse through right now, while of course being super mindful of safety while you shop. If you’re more comfortable shopping online, new items are being added to the online shop every day – brace yourself to lose an hour while you click through page after page of everything from gorgeous handmade rope baskets to sneakily profane wall art. Most of the one-of-a-kind work in the shop is made by artists in Alberta, with a few representing BC, and if you’re one of those hyper-organized types who starts Christmas shopping as soon as the leaves turn (hats off to you, but also, how though?!), you’ll be able to cross a lot of your list in one go here.

Charcuterie Board with Ocean Resin Finish by Dot Artistry

Alberta Sunshine Enamel Pin by Alberta Pin Co.

Small Tray Basket by Baskets & Bowls

Organic Lip Balm by Drift Simply Natural

If shopping isn’t really in the cards for you right now, Hilary also points out that just sharing the work of local makers with your friends and online network can go a long way toward supporting the artists, so another option is to simply put all that extra screen time to good use by sharing and tagging. 

Seeing any other cool local responses to the pandemic? You know we want to hear about it – send us a DM or leave a comment on our Instagram, and we’ll be sure to spread the word.