WINNIPEG, MB. - If you haven’t heard the term “urban market” yet, you’re about to hear it a lot more often. The fast-growing concept is being applied more and more frequently in highly populated cities and towns.
An urban market is a locally based market that showcases various vendors offering unique and creative forms of things like paper goods, jewelery, home décor, food, drink and much more.
Winnipeg based Third + Bird business founders Chandra Kremski and Charla Smeall bring an overall sense of more to the Winnipeg urban market scene than any other market founders. More commitment to their vendors and mission to sell local, more respect and loyalty for the individuals that make their markets so special, more pride in the amazing work and results they've managed to produce during their business's young lifespan.
Third + Bird began was an idea Chandra had to showcase local artisans skills and products with the intention to fundraise money for global and local initiatives, including Winnipeg art programs and Nepali Women's Co-op. Charla responded to the vision enthusiastically and determinedly, joining Chandra in providing support for those who needed it. It was a hobby of the utmost passion and drive for both women. "And it's been magic ever since," Chandra says with a laugh.
For five years they gave every penny of the money raised back to communities. In 2013 they now boasted an incredible and thriving market scene and with their original idea of celebrating local businesses and artisans still in mind, they transformed their successful hobby into a successful business. "It was a really natural step," Chandra says, "Every step along the way has been so natural and so progressive and it's been a really great journey."
Since its business establishment in 2013, Third + Bird has come a long way, including partnerships with The Bay Downtown and The Forks and the addition of a Spring Market on top of their very popular Christmas market. Their Spring Market alone generated over $500,000 in revenue for their vendors and brought out more than 6000 shoppers, a huge milestone that Chandra and Charla are optimistically confident they will surpass in the upcoming Christmas Market that takes place November 25th and 26th. Chandra comments on their Spring Market milestone, making their appreciation for their shoppers infinitely clear, "That's revenue that stays in Manitoba. People are supporting individuals that are truly labouring over every detail and ethically sourcing their product, something that makes us so proud and so appreciative for shoppers that value and help grow our community."
The application process for becoming a vendor for the Third + Bird markets is quite extensive and thorough. The application itself is available online for ten days typically three months before the Christmas Market and Spring Market, with a jury reviewing and selecting if and which vendors will be present at the market events. The waiting list for being a vendor is also quite extensive so many will have to be patient and trust the process. The background check on confirming that the artisan or business is 100% local and homegrown is the most pivotal part of the selection, "This way shoppers don't have to question the authenticity of what we're advertising as a 100% locally based urban market." explains Charla.
Chandra and Charla advertise tirelessly for their vendors, making sure that they are a recognized feature even before the market or event takes place. They will receive their own Instagram post on the Third + Bird account and an entire vendor page on the Third + Bird website. This is a unique commitment and show of loyalty to Third + Bird as it is not a typical action of other urban markets to advertise so in depth for their vendors. They’re also careful not to oversaturate the type of business or sales goods their vendors present with, ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity of generating business and personal revenue as well as advertisement for their product. They encourage strongly for their vendors to make their individual area in the market as imaginative and appealing as what they're selling, pushing for creativity and originality in their sales space.
Third + Bird's goal for giving local businesses and artisans a larger platform is unparalleled to any other business of its kind, with the business's goal repeatedly and beyond successfully achieved each year. With the ten-year anniversary of Chandra and Charla's vision approaching next year, they are both in agreement when Chandra says, "There are some really awesome things coming in 2018."
For the remainder of 2017 however, you can join in and help support their vision by enjoying their upcoming annual Christmas Market that takes place November 25th and 26th at the Hudson's Bay Downtown. Tickets are a $5 general admission at the Vaughn Street entrance with market hours on the 25th of 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and the 26th 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. There will also be a Christmas Popup at the Forks Market during December 2nd and 3rd and the following two weekends afterward. For further details about the markets, vendors and more on Third + Bird you can visit their website at thirdandbirdevents.com
"We are curated, modern, fresh and contemporary. We are truly Winnipeg's largest Urban Market." -Chandra Kremski
The Manitoba Post
Photo supplied by SmartBizwpg.com