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When it comes to supporting Edmonton makers and artisans, The Makers Keep is one of the city’s biggest boosters.

With four retail locations in Edmonton and area, The Makers Keep is like an in-person Etsy site, selling local, handmade goods and providing small business owners with a place to display their product in a market-like environment. Katrina Petryshyn opened the first store in 2016, eager to nurture the local maker community by creating a place where they could connect with customers.

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“For me, personally, I was living abroad and saw similar stores. When I got back to Canada, at that time there weren’t many out there. You couldn’t find them. So, we started with a tiny store in the Brewery District, and it’s grown,” says Petryshn, who has also added three children to her life since then.

The Makers Keep supports more than 400 local businesses. Most makers and artisans have an online store, but a retail outlet helps them reach more customers. Vendors can display product and meet customers face-to-face while taking advantage of a central point of sale system.

“People like to be able to touch the products they’re buying. And often, the story about the person who made the product can be just as important as the product,” Petryshyn says.

The largest of The Makers Keep locations is at 10806 124th St., a 3,000-square-foot store with workshop space available for bookings. There are smaller stores in Kingsway Mall and in Sherwood Park. The St. Albert location is moving to St. Albert Centre and is expected to open in late March/early April.

Petryshyn says The Makers Keep will host a pop-up market at the Edmonton Home and Garden Show, running March 21 to 24 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. She and her crew are setting up a mini version of their store in a 160-square-foot booth at the show and will offer a cross section of goods from popular vendors.

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“We’ll try to fill every category, from accessories, clothing and home goods to apothecary, bath and body. It will be a mini boutique,” she says.

Providing local goods on behalf of makers and artisans is a popular business model right now she says.

“I love that there are more stores popping up, because the more the better. It supports the local economy.”

The Makers Keep Pop Up Shop is one of many new features coming to the Edmonton Home and Garden Show. HGTV personality Scott McGillivray is among the Main Stage presenters scheduled to appear during the four-day show. For show times, a list of features and exhibitors visit the show’s website.

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