Summer typically means sunny days browsing craft markets, discovering local artists and makers. However, due to COVID-19, many markets are adapting to the times.
Valley Made Market, which typically runs from April to October in Mount Vernon, supports local makers from Skagit Valley, Whatcom, and beyond. At the market, you’d typically find jewelry from crafters like Cascadia Jewelry and Early Winters Design, salves and body products from Garden Mentors, and macrame plant holders from Knotty Kort. Now, in the era of COVID-19, all market events have been canceled up to July, says owner Phoebe Carpenter- Eells.
But when life gives you lemons… you start a website. To support local makers, the market has moved to a new digital platform that makes shopping from your home seamless and easy.
“With that we were able to just run a marketplace page so we are not actually selling anybody’s stuff,” says Carpenter-Eells. “We are kind of a hub where people can come and find the maker they are looking for or browse all the makers.”
Although you can’t smell a bar of soap or feel a hand-knit beanie the way you could at a normal market, supporting local makers virtually is more important than ever.
“Supporting small businesses during this time helps ensure that we will still have this type of market and this type of business when all of this is over,” says Carpenter-Eells.
As for the future, Valley Made Market is assessing the situation week by week. While all shows in June have been canceled, the decreasing rate of COVID-19 cases in Skagit Valley signals a chance for a July show, given the market’s outdoor nature and the use of proper safety precautions.
To shop for yourself, visit Valley Made Market’s website and browse their vendors.