While independent music festival POP Montreal attracts music fans this weekend, its sister festival, Puces POP, will be luring out lovers of crafts.
The sixth annual Puces POP, designed to “celebrate all kinds of independent creation,” features booths from 100 local vendors boasting products from organic baby clothes to boozed-up cupcakes, a business seminar for DIY up-and-comers, and a record fair for vinyl enthusiasts.
Montrealers have responded to this one-on-one Mile End shopping
experience so well that the bazaar is now a thrice-yearly event. Puces POP isn’t all about customers, though. There’s plenty to be said about the experience from the other side of the booth.
Vendor’s perspective: Puces one-on-one
Puces POP vendors praise the Puces POP for fostering immediate interaction with clients.
“I started my jewelry business [to] shorten the distance between designer and customer,” says Marie Khediguian, whose company, MarKhed crafts, features edgy sterling pieces such as an anatomically correct heart pendant. “Puces POP allows me to have a live connection and feedback from local clients — nothing beats having someone loving your work right in front of you.”
GeneviÃ¨ve Savard agrees: besides being able to offer better rates and service, “meeting the other sellers, networking and making friends” are advantages of the bazaar setting. Savard’s debut Wolfy line includes risque/classic combinations like a sheer black silk “inside dress’ and a sapphire silk “outside dress.’
Vanja Kragulj of Zoo Babies says that Canadians “are still skeptical about online shopping,” and that her clientele, which often includes grandparents, “generally likes to [first] feel the product”. Her children’s clothing and handmade plushies, like Toshi, a striped, Godzilla-esque lizard, are made of organic fair-trade cotton.
Puces aux pouces: first-time tips
Why not start your Puces with the free-of-charge Fashion POP design
competition/fashion show held at the Rialto on Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m.? It will feature six designers competing for a $1,000 cash prize and a spot in WORN fashion journal.
The Puces POP bazaar is held Oct. 2 to 3 in the basement of Mile End’s St. Michael’s parish from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry to the Puces is free, and booths are mostly cash-only. Once inside, make your way around the aisles at least once before deciding on major purchases, but booth-shoppers beware: unlike in a mall, many items are one-of-a-kind, and sell in a flash. Check out the zines and comics available at Puces POP: many come from Montreal’s own Drawn and Quarterly press.
Vinyl lovers, you’re a short walk to the simultaneous Puces POP record fair at the Exclaim! Venue in the Ukranian Federation Basement, featuring vinyl sales and swaps, instrument repairs, and international and Montreal-based indie labels.
When you’re all POP’d out, continue to support local business and head down to CafÃ© Olimpico or Le Club Social for a latte or an espresso to sip on as you look through your purchases. Happy Puces!
You can check out the above mentioned craftspeople here: www.markhedcrafts.com, www.zoobabies.ca and www.genevievesavard.com.
Puces POP is taking place at St. Michael’s Parish, 5580 St-Urbain St., corner St-Viateur St., Oct. 2-3. The POP fashion show is turning heads at The Rialto, 5723 du Parc Ave. Stop by the record fair at the Ukrainian Federation, 5213 Hutchison St. Our suggested spots for bites to eat: CafÃ© Olimpico at 124 St-Viateur St. W. and Le Club Social at 180 St-Viateur St. W.