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Craft Culture highlights small businesses and sustainability at 7th winter market

Craft Culture has returned to Prospera Place for the 7th installment of its holiday market.

The annual market has become one of the go-to shopping events of the Christmas season in the valley, thanks to the wide variety of 180 artisan vendors that line the inside of the arena and outside concourse.

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Organizer Karalyn Lockhart has been at the helm of the event since its inception, giving her the opportunity to see it flourish into the staple event it has become today.

“Craft Culture is definitely becoming a thing,” said Lockhart. “It is an event that vendors really look forward to, and want to get into because it is successful for them, thanks to how supportive Kelowna is of small businesses.”

Throughout her time bringing the event to fruition, Lockhart has been able to see the benefits of supporting solo entrepreneurs first hand.

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“I can really see that if people come out and support these entrepreneurs, the money is going right back into their families and It feels really good,” she said.

“If we have a successful year, I get so many emails of gratitude after the event telling me how important it is to them and how it made a difference in their business and family, which is really amazing because you just don’t get that shopping at a big box store.”

While the number of vendors has stuck around 180 over the last couple of years, the type of products being offered, while always unique, is slowly starting to align in one specific way — environmental consciousness and sustainability.

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At the market, you will be able to find everything from clothing to body care, kitchen supplies, home-baked goods, art and much more. And this year, a majority of the vendors are ensuring they are taking the right steps to let consumers know they are a part of the “green movement.”

“It has been really cool to see the green, waste-free movement gain so much momentum,” said Lockhart.

“I think shoppers are becoming a lot pickier when it comes to what they are buying and here at Craft Culture, I know a lot of vendors are keeping that in mind when it comes to sourcing and creating their products.”

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Rouve Hembling is the owner of Your Green Kitchen, a business based in Nakusp that specializes in creating fabric bowl covers and zero waste kitchen supplies.

This year marks Hembling’s fourth time being a part of the Craft Culture market and her fourth year of spreading her company’s message of “using less.”

“There is too much waste in general, especially this time of year, so it is really important to try and use less because it can really make a difference,” said Hembling.

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Not only does Hembling enjoy the opportunities the market brings for the green movement, but also believes it is a great place for small businesses to have their products showcased.

“The great traffic, tons of people and atmosphere keeps us coming back,” she said. “Events like this help people that may work from home, have a disability or not have any extra income, have the opportunity to contribute and get their high-quality, creative products out there.”

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After seven years, the two-day event has earned quite a reputation and always garners a massive line up throughout the Prospera Place parking lot.

To combat the long line ups and to adhere to capacity regulations, Lockhart has introduced incentives to entice shoppers to pop by the event later on throughout the weekend.

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In addition to offering late night shopping until 7:30 pm on Saturday, those who decide to stop in after 2:30 pm on both days will be entered in to win a grand prize gift package from Predator Ridge.

Craft Culture will continue on into this evening and will return once more on Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $5 per person with a part of the proceeds going on to support Mamas for Mamas.

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