Marketplace: Family and New Faces
On Thursday, September 22, we had the pleasure of hosting our monthly marketplace. This is an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to come together, promote their businesses, and engage in some collective networking. Past graduates of our Ventures Program feature prominently, but there were some new faces as well.
Meet Dana, a talented artist who comes from a long line of artistic people; it’s practically in her blood. She’s opening DIBS On Designs (Dana’s Innovative Business Solutions), and while her original dream of painting ceilings turned out to be impractical, she’s found her niche and seems quite happy to be there. In addition to landscape paintings, she expands her artwork to include logos, signs, and even furniture.
“I love to create things,” she said, and credits the Ventures program for “launching [her] career.” She added that “Ventures was like working with family.” Since her entire family is very artistic, it’s easy to imagine Ventures feeling a little like coming home.
Mohammed, a soft-spoken graduate of Ventures, talked to us about his delicious samosas. At the moment, he makes them all on his own—with occasional help from his wife—and his love for the process was evident. The samosas are still in the testing stage, and his business idea, Sambusas, is not yet officially off the ground, but judging by how popular his creations are, it’s only a matter of time until he achieves success.
Colleen, a seasoned entrepreneur, introduced us to gorgeous jewelry and assorted crafts. Her wares are uniquely beautiful, and she certainly knows her way around entrepreneurship. She explained that she couldn’t complete the Ventures program, which she regrets, but that “it’s helped so many people.” Colleen likes to get involved with local businesses, as she values supporting Edmonton’s economy. When Colleen isn’t selling her crafts, she can be found selling leggings and, of all things, popcorn.
We met a new face: Daryl, a beader, displayed her colourful creations and chatted with us about how she got started.
“I did a lot of beading as a kid,” she said, “and I started up again out of nostalgia, really.”
As she sorted through delicate bracelets and some rather unusual frog charms, she explained that her blindness, so often the focus of people’s questions, hasn’t really affected her much. “I still have colour memory, so I generally know which colours go together.” She describes the process of choosing beads as a “multisensory experience,” which the average sighted person may not be able to appreciate fully.
We host this marketplace monthly, and our exhibitors come back time after time to network, socialize, and gain valuable exposure. Whether they’re familiar with DECSA or brand new to it, the atmosphere seems to agree with them. We hope to see more members of the public dropping by to experience the magic.