Local makers set up shop for Small Business Saturday in Ravenswood


CHICAGO — On Small Business Saturday in Ravenswood, the Holly Jolley Trolley helped shoppers get around to local mom-and-pop shops.

It helped shoppers, like Andrea Findley, get to some of the best spots, including a market with more than a hundred local artisans.

“Oh this is wonderful,” Findley said. “This is why I live here, for things like this. This is why I live here.”

The Traveling Chicago Artisan Market set up in Ravenswood this weekend features more than a hundred small businesses.

“What’s unique about these small businesses, we call them makers,” Lynna Smith, the market’s creator said. “They are people who make things.”

Makers like Gilad Fishel who make chef-crafted condiments with his brother-in-law.

“The two of us started exactly two years ago today on Small Business Saturday,” Fishel said.

Fishel said markets like the one in Ravenswood are key to the success of small businesses like Dilly Dally Provisions.

“Instrumental. I mean how else would we get our name out? How else would we be able to get feedback about our product? It’s amazing to be here,” Fishel said.

Around 6,000 people are expected to shop at the market this weekend.

“It’s great to connect with the other small businesses that are here, just making connections with other people is really huge,” Ali Haymes, with Ali Winter Ceramics, said. “And being able to connect with customers in person is great after COVID it’s really nice to be in person again and talk to people.”

Customers said it was a welcome one-stop-shop for people like them who were on the hunt for unique handmade gifts and the desire to support local.

“It feels good to help them and buy their stuff and see the different artists here,” Linda Conway said.

Business owners have noticed a renewed interest in people choosing to shop small. Nearly 60% of holiday shoppers planned to participate in Small Business Saturday this year.

The National Retail Federation reports last year, around 180 million Americans shopped in the five day span between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, which puts Small Business Saturday in a good spot to make some big sales throughout the weekend.

The Holly Jolley Trolley was only available for shoppers on Saturday, but the Artisan Market is open on Sunday. It will move to a Fulton Market location the second weekend of December.

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