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Local Artisans Come to the Mall

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Written by: Communicator StaffOctober 26, 2017

By: Nicole Winans

In March of 2016, Katie Cook, a Fort Wayne local, began a Pop-Up Monday markets at Java Mama Coffee Shop as a way to bring in customers.

“The goal of the pop-up markets is to help connect local people with local businesses,” Cook said.

She is a vendor herself and wanted a way to get several artisans together to network and branch out in the community.

When the coffee shop closed in 2016, Cook was left with a group of vendors who wanted to continue doing pop-ups at a reasonable cost.

As she began to search for a new venue, she was contacted by Glenbrook Square Mall to host her markets there.

“It had been on my list of ‘would love to do’ but never thought it would actually be affordable,” Cook said.

In August 2017, the markets moved to Glenbrook Mall and took on the name Pop-Up Ft. Wayne as well as The Deck during the summer months.

“I love that we have the opportunity to set up something truly unique at a place where you wouldn’t normally associate that,” Cook said. “We are given the same opportunity to be in front of people without spending our life’s savings.”

Currently, markets are scheduled for Oct. 27, Nov. 17 and Dec. 22 from noon to 7 p.m. in the Grand Main Entrance Hall (alongside Barnes and Noble).

There are approximately 15 to 20 local vendors at each event with the line-up of vendors changing every month.

“I wanted it to be just one day, and I wanted it it to be a unique market every month, so people would keep wanting to come back,” Cook said.

The inventory at the markets is always changing, which is why Cook advises shoppers pick up vendor business cards and make connections with those they are interested in.

Some of the items for purchase include personalized treats, jewelry, artwork, knitting, apparel, accessories, lotions, home decor and more.

“These markets are different from what you would normally find at the mall,” Cook said. “Many of the items you’ll find are one-of-a-kind.”

Attendees have the opportunity to purchase custom products and meet the very makers of those products whom they are supporting.

For more information about attending a Pop-Up Ft. Wayne event or becoming a vendor, visit Pop-Up Ft. Wayne’s Facebook page or email popupfortwayne@gmail.com.