Online shopping goes local
Trevor Nichols - Nov 03 - Biz Releases

Image: Contributed

A pair of Okanagan artisans are about to open a year-round marketplace the showcases local makers, designers and artists’ work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The OK Market is an online hub that founder Jenny Darychuk says will help bring local creators to a wider audience.

Darychuk, who runs Lillian Sinclair Design Co. along with her partner Colby Ramsay, says the idea came to her as she and Ramsay were setting up the website for their own company.

The pair spent about two years, and “went through a lot of hurdles” getting their company established online, and Darychuk said she wanted to make the process easier for other local artisans in the Okanagan.

“We just started thinking that there were probably a lot of other makers and designers–people in the exact same situation–that don’t have the time and resources to get something like that set up,” she said.

Ramsay added that there are several other online marketplaces out there–sites like Etsy and Amazon–but that they are so saturated it can be difficult to stand out.

“When you’re up there with thousands upon thousands of craftspeople, sometimes you can get lost in the shuffle,” he said.

The OK Market will feature only local artisans, making it a one-stop shop for people who want to support local.

Darychuk said that the best way to support local artists is probably to still meet them in person, but admitted that it can often be tough to get to farmer’s markets or studios to do that.

That’s why she’s attempted to make vendors on the OK Market nice and accessible–to try to get as much of that “farmer’s market” experience online as possible.

She explains that each vendor on the site will have their own profile, where they can write a short bio and explain their products.

“We want to give it a feel where you feel like you’re getting to know the people, just like if you were walking down the street and talking to the vendors, for example at a farmer’s market,” she said.

The pair hope to launch the market sometime this month, and say they’re still looking for more vendors to come on board.

Showcasing your products on OK Market will be completely free, and vendors will only have to pay processing fees if they sell something.

More information, for both vendors and interested customers, is available at theokmarket.com, or by visiting the market’s Facebook page.


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