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Christmas UpMarket offers affordable one-stop shopping

Sunday, December 8, 2013
Wood craftsman Philip Arthur , right, looks on as potential customers view his work during the Christmas UpMarket at the Woodbrook Youth Centre, yesterday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE

Social media was abuzz with the upcoming event, and the first Christmas UpMarket for the season lived up to the billing. The Christmas UpMarket is proving to be the biggest and brightest one so far and is still growing in popularity. 



Scores of patrons were attracted to the largest gathering of artisans and vendors—120—and their wares at an UpMarket, which event coordinator Janet Bloom-Fabres described as “a one-stop shopping experience for everything” at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton Holder Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. The artisans’ goods ranged from jewelry, plants, herbs, artisanal foods, breads, sausages, cheeses, chutneys, wood work, clothes, soaps, eco-friendly goods, and healthy lifestyle products.


There was also a global element this year, with exotic imports such as jewelry from Nepal, India, Africa, products from Zimbabwe, bags and jewelry from First Peoples in Colombia and Latin America, queries from London, and the market was spreading its wings. Bloom-Fabres said, “Over the course of the last two years, the market has grown tremendously because I think it provides an outlet for the artisans’ creativity. 



“I find that I get calls almost on a daily basis with people coming up with ideas, because now they have an outlet for their work. “In the past, people would have to spend money to go in a mall, but the market offers a more affordable outlet for them. She said the Christmas markets were very popular and have been booked up for a couple of months in advance. Bloom-Fabres said it was because of Upmarket’s loyal customers, regulars, and new people who would like to show their goods and make a little extra money for the season.


She said the other very popular market was Mother’s Day Market. The other markets consistently showcased approximately 80 vendors, but the numbers kept growing to hit 120 vendors for December. Bloom-Fabres said there was definitely a need for people to have an outlet to exhibit their work.



She said UpMarket started being held on the first Saturday in each month, then recently a Sunday market was added to cater to the people who worked on Saturdays and couldn’t attend Saturday markets. Bloom-Fabres said due to the popularity of the Sunday market, the vendors and patrons were looking forward to having a market every other month and also adding a Sunday market in 2014 because it was very well received.    


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