Markets have given shoppers a glimpse into how locally made goods are made but a newly formed arts cooperative – Create It West – now plans on taking it a step further.
Handmade crafters have joined forces under the Create It West banner to amp up the shop local culture and teach exclusive skills to the interested public.
The cooperative, led by quilters Krista McPhee and Tina Ihas and seamstress Lori Prest, looks to unite Greater Trail’s creative talent by connecting the general public to their work through upcoming skilled workshops and an informative blog.
But before the needle hits the thread, the team is launching its intent through a handmade boutique event today and Saturday in Trail, where clothing for women and children, jewellery, pottery hand bags and soaps are just some of the items for sale.
Shop West will feature a handful of creations by Be&Glad, Something Sweet, Lil’ Munkee, Birdsnest Design, Frances Moll Pottery, Soap at Home and H&J Lapidary, which will all be centre stage in Prest’s East Trail home turned storefront.
“We’re moving everything out,” said Prest of Be&Glad Studio. “I think it’s going to be good, I’ve had a really good response.”
The seamstress is known for her unique silk-screened designs printed on a combination of natural and renewable resource fabrics. Prest produces patchwork clothing with water-based ink patterns and decorative flat-lock stitch. Though she said her designs have simplified, Prest still uses Japanese tie-dye and silk screening techniques to bring her art in motion to life.
The launch is meant to fill a void, she said, pointing, to the fact that there hasn’t been a local market since the winter.
“It’s a pretty sad time of year for selling,” she explained. “I’ve had people come and buy things but I haven’t had a market since before Christmas.”
Local artists signed up for the event have agreed to donate 10 per cent of their profit to the launch of the co-op, which will help cover business start up as the costs of supplies for the first local workshop.
Ihas is hoping the venture will lead her back to working for herself on some capacity. The owner of Trail’s former Sugar Shack Quilting has been busy crafting handbags and her popular stuffed owls all while slinging a couple other jobs to make ends meet.
“I think it will help sell (our) hand made goods but at the same time, I’m hoping it will boost the hand-made culture of this town because it doesn’t really exist at the moment,” she said.
“But there are a lot of people interested who just don’t know where to go so we’re hoping to kind of provide that.”
Shop West runs Friday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1430 Second Ave. in Trail.