Demand Better: more inclusive craft markets

It’s that time of year- Craft markets

It seems like there are craft markets continuously during this time of year. I love to see people showing off their handiwork, and being compensated for their time and talents. This season could be a magical time, but unfortunately not every craft market makes space for all of us to succeed.

Some of these markets have expensive vendor fees, don’t advertise to our communities, and don’t offer an affordable range of products. Those are a few reasons why some of these spaces are full of white vendors and white customers. Walking into these spaces makes my heart drop, my face flush. “I don’t belong here. I am not safe here.”

But it doesn’t have to feel like this. BIPOC makers and vendors exist. My inbox is brimming with their interest in #SupportLocalHustle!

Demand better

My plea to you is to demand better. Demand markets and spaces that reflect the universe of talented people creating and making in Minneapolis. Please think about BIPOC, queer, trans, gender non conforming, disabled, low income, fat, femme, and folks with hxstorically marginalized identities and experiences. 

Please think about us. Because we never stop experiencing discrimination we don’t have the luxury to stop thinking about these things. Please realize the tax and barriers for not being able bodied, cishet, and white are extreme and omnipresent in our lives. Craft markets do not need to be another structure to reinforce these oppressions.

Let us all step outside our own experiences by recognizing the layers of privilege we inhabit, and consider the experience of people intersectionally oppressed.  Artists deserve to be compensated for their work! But people can charge more when they are perceived white, because they are inherently given more value. If you are organize these homogeneous events, please stop. There’s a better way.

There’s a better way.

Invite us

If you are organizing events, reach out to BIPOC community. Make relationships with us and make space for us.

No snobs

If a table looks sparse or homespun, if labels are plain instead of Pinterest, if we write our information on post its instead of professionally printed business cards… don’t sneer. I guarantee the quality of our jams, our jewelry, our pickles, our photographs, our products, speak for themselves. We might not have the same access to resources, or this might be just one of our many side hustles. But we have pride in what we make and bring to you! Respect us, respect our products.

Don’t allow appropriation

Don’t allow people to profit off of cultures and traditions that are not theirs. e.g. Don’t invite or patronize vendors who make “Native inspired” products if you don’t support Native artists and makers.

Support us

If something happens that makes a vendor, partner, or customer feel unsafe (e.g. racist, sexist, transphobic behaviors or actions) how are we being supported? If we need to ask for a loan so we have enough cash change for an event, or we don’t have a table, how are we being supported? If we need guidance on how to do our taxes or how to book more events, how are we being supported?

We can do better!

I believe this deeply.

I’m definitely far from perfect but I’m committed to doing better.