A pop-up shop inside of an outlet mall is buzzing as holiday shoppers tick off their Christmas lists locally.
Staff and vendors with The Local Entrepreneurs of Winnipeg (The Locals) had an exhausting weekend keeping up with Winnipeg's desire to shop local this holiday season. Their booming pop-up shop gives mall space to a variety of local makers who would not have had the chance to be there otherwise.
"It is a rare opportunity to be able to help makers. We are seeing this exposure, and as a local maker myself, I never would have been able to do it on my own," co-owner Nerissa Manzano says.
Regulars at farmers and Christmas markets will feel at home at the ever-changing shop. Filling the shop's floor space is what Manzano calls mini shops; some are there for the week and others stick around for the entire two months it is open. Displays inside the shop are filled with macrame wall hangings, eco-friendly hygiene products, teacher's gift boxes and many more handmade goods.
Their shop at The Outlet Collection gets some foot traffic from the mall, but many of those incoming steps come from a following of their own. The Locals' social media presence, coupled with the followings of vendors inside their shop, garner plenty of attention.
"A lot of the people that come in here have been following us for the last almost three years, so it is kind of cool that they have been on the same journey. They have seen us grow."
Manzano has been wanting to have a Christmas pop-up since The Locals' beginnings in 2019 and is grateful for the chance to do it now until Boxing Day. Manzano thinks the pandemic helped strengthen the already-growing desire from Manitobans to support local businesses.