The origins of the holiday, as we celebrate this time of year are more spiritual than material, but the tradition of gift-giving has long been a part of our culture and has become a thoughtful gesture to show loved ones we care.
Of course, there is the other side of the gift-giving transaction; and while it’s not hard to imagine how directly supporting small businesses stimulates the local economy far more than purchasing gifts from a corporate company, the pleasant surprise of giving or receiving a creative and unique gift is a priceless bonus.
Though intentional holiday shopping has been on the radar of many over the last few years, shopping small is indisputably less convenient than having goods shipped to your door with the click of a button. Yes, there are sites like Etsy that can connect you to thousands of small businesses from all over the world, but the essence of “shopping small” implies doing so in one’s locality.
If only there were a way to access a variety of vendors offering interesting, often hand-made gifts in person all at once. Enter: the makers’ market. These co-op, usually outdoor markets have become especially popular post-pandemic, and allow for communities to connect in ways that are lost in online transactions.
Katrina Constantine is a local artist who has been participating in these sorts of events as a vendor for years and says that she has seen and experienced benefits that go beyond financial gain.
“There’s a simplicity to online [vending] in that you can do things in bulk, but there’s something special about seeing people in real time appreciate what you make,” said
Constantine. “And that really lets you know the things that stand out because
you can actually see people’s expressions.”
While these events happen in Orlando year-round, the ones closer to the holidays are especially electric, and the holiday cheer is almost tangible. Read on to find out about some of the makers’ markets happening in Orlando this December and consider delivering seasons’ greetings to your neighbors in person by stopping by.
Where: Succulents Empire (1700 N Orange Avenue)
When: Saturday, December 3, 12 – 5 PM
Details: Featuring more than 30 vendors, this event in the heart of Ivanhoe Village offers the perfect opportunity to get a head start on holiday shopping.
Where: Sideward Brewing Co. (210 N Bumby Avenue)
When: Sunday, December 4, 1 – 9 PM
Details: A lesser-known Christmas icon, Krampus, is on its way to the Milk District, and is bringing with it not only local small business vendors, but also live music, good eats, and a Krampus costume parade and contest!
Where: Hourglass District (2401 Curry Ford Road)
When: Saturday, December 10, 12 – 5 PM
Details: Delight in browsing the wares of over 50 vendors to the sounds of live music and carolers and enjoy festive food and drink in the Hourglass District.
Where: Park Ave CDs (2916 Corrine Drive)
When: Sunday, December 11, 11 AM – 5 PM
Details: Over 30 local artisans and vintage dealers will be setting up shop in Audubon Park, with a variety of food trucks and a selection of craft beer provided by Redlight Redlight.
Where: The Nook on Robinson (2432 E Robinson Street)
When: Sunday, December 18, 11 AM – 6 PM
Details: One of the biggest markets in town, Milk Mart will feature 130 local vendors and one giant inflatable cow.
Where: Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company (1300 Alden Road)
When: Sunday, December 18, 1 – 7 PM