Thirty-four young vendors will sell their wares outside the SLCC on November 27-28
After being canceled at the 11th hour amid changing COVID-19 regulations last year, Bratz Biz, Whistler’s beloved annual market showcasing young artisan vendors, is set to return – and in a new location to start.
“We’re super, super excited to have an in-person market this year,” said Lee Erickson, co-organizer of the event.
Thirty-four young entrepreneurs will be selling their wares in the parking lot outside the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center (SLCC) this weekend, a new location for the market that had been held in recent years at the Whistler Conference Center.
“We were supposed to go to SLCC last year and then this year we decided we had better go outside. [rather] than to face the constantly changing internal rules, so we are outside the SLCC. So get carried away, ”recommends Erickson.
That’s not the only change this year: although independently run events, Bratz Biz has been held in recent years alongside the popular Arts Whistler Holiday Market (formerly Bizarre Bazaar), but with the organization unable to cement a space for rent, the adult market will not go forward This year.
“We’re saddened that they can’t function this year because having the markets together is good for both markets,” Erickson said.
Entirely run by volunteers, Bratz Biz is funded primarily through sponsorship and fundraising, and the years it was held in conjunction with the Whistler Arts Holiday Market, organizers were able to share the crucial costs and labor. .
“They cover a lot of publicity and a lot of that. Also, we share the work. They figure out how to set up signage and so on, and there are many applications and many things Arts Whistler would do to cover both markets, ”says Erickson. “So the workload and the financial burden on Bratz Biz is increased when we’re not with the Arts Whistler Vacation Marketplace. ”
Among the dozens of young vendors this year will be Chocolate Desire by Olivia Dallago, who sells chocolate truffles; Whistler Nut Butter Co. by Lydia and Stella Schwartz, and Live 2 Ski by Jordan Lovell, who recycles old skis and snowboards into new items, such as birdhouses, wine racks and benches.
A five-year Bratz Biz veteran, 16-year-old Lovell says he appreciated the opportunity to hone his sales skills and grow his business from scratch.
“I like to do my own stuff. It helps you become more confident in talking to people. It feels good to create and also sales training, I use it in my job today, ”he says. Lovell works at The Destination ski store in North Van, where he has also started selling his nesting boxes, hoping to expand into other stores in the future.
“It’s a lot for some kids to expose themselves, so the social experience they get by doing something like this is amazing,” Erickson said.
“We need people to come and support these children who have worked so hard for a long time. Get out there, support the locals and start your holiday shopping early.
Bratz Biz is scheduled for Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn more about bratzbiz.ca.