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New holiday market focused on community, not profit (10 photos)

'I tried to make the market as diverse as possible and also have some local activist groups and resources,' said organizer Siyobin Blanco

The Feminist Holiday Market offered a unique shopping experience of 55 vendors with a wide array of items.

Organizer Siyobin Blanco said that the Feminist Market was the first of its kind in Guelph, but she hopes to run more next year. The Feminist Holiday Market was open from 5 to 9 p.m. at St. George’s Anglican Church, and drew a large crowd of enthusiastic guests.

Blanco said that the event was open to all gender identities. But when filling out the application form to be a vendor, each applicant was asked what their personal experience with feminism was, and why it was important to them.

Blanco owns The Wool Witch, a knitting and crochet business, and has been a vendor at many craft shows. She wanted to offer something different.

“As a queer woman of colour, I had found that these markets were often white-washed and focused on profit. I am a passionate feminist and have attended the Women's March on Washington and the Women's Convention last month in Detroit. I had felt out of place at these craft shows and didn't feel a strong connection of community, or see my values reflected at these events,” said Blanco.

After meeting a few vendors with similar values, Blanco decided it was time to organize her own market.

“I tried to make the market as diverse as possible and also have some local activist groups and resources. We also have a raffle and all of the proceeds from that are going towards the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis,” Blanco shared.

Blanco hopes to offer more workshops and opportunities for other feminists within Guelph and surrounding areas.

“I am a queer, disabled woman of colour. I am very vocal about feminist issues and try to educate and facilitate conversations around these issues as often as possible. I will be running some workshops based on my experiences and also what I learned at the Women's Convention in the new year. Topics will include privilege, self care for activists and more,” she shared.

You can find out more about The Wool Witch here, and Blanco’s activist work here.