If you are thinking about shopping local this holiday season, look no further than Made Here — one of Winnipeg’s first charity-focused local retail spots. More than 100 local makers have come together to fill the beautiful space in the Richardson Centre (just below Fairmont Winnipeg) with some truly incredible local products. Whether it is prints, cards, clothing, cutting boards, children’s gifts, or something you haven’t even heard of yet (wooden bow ties have been popular this season!), Made Here has it all, and it’s all made in Manitoba.
The best part? All of these makers agreed to donate a portion of every item sold to children’s charities here in Manitoba. Proceeds from Made Here will support The Dream Factory, Junior Achievement, Art City, and Snowflake Place for Children and Youth.
Made Here is a partnership between Vantage Studios, a local marketing company, and Made Here For You, an online portal that connects Manitobans with local makers. Donavan Robinson, managing partner at Vantage Studios, says giving back to charity was always the goal.
“The idea started with a pop-up shop we held the year before. We contacted a few local makers and raised about $400 for The Dream Factory. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to help a child swim with dolphins, and we all thought that was pretty special. We walked away from that experience saying, ‘What if we can make a bigger impact with this model? What if we can change someone’s life just by bringing people together?’”
Robinson credits Made Here’s success to the willingness of everyone to say “yes” and jump on board. From Melissa Penner and Jeremy Wat (the folks behind Made Here For You) coming on board to source local products, to the team at the Richardson Centre, to the enthusiasm of the charities and their willingness to be involved.
“Each and every piece came together in such a meaningful way, and it’s the best example of the amazing community that surrounds our city. Everybody was willing to help.”
To date, Made Here has raised more than $2,000 for local children’s charities — and is well on their way to their $20,000 goal. Reaching that goal would allow a child’s dream to come true, provide support for art programming for more than 1,100 children, help connect students with financial literacy and work-readiness programs, and launch a support group for caregivers of children who have faced abuse.
For Penner and Wat, who are so passionate about local products, this impact is yet another reason to shop local.
“We have so many treasures here in Manitoba that start off with a spark of imagination and creativity and then become these amazing products. To feature these product means we are able to support a local maker and their small business and in turn support children’s charities in the process - it’s a win-win.”
As Made Here gears up for the holiday season, you can find them at L14 1 Lombard (underneath the Fairmont and across from Print Shop by Vantage.) They are open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be hosting evening hours as well. Follow Vantage Studios and Made Here For You on Facebook to learn more.
Dreams come true at The Dream Factory
One of the charities supported by Made Here is The Dream Factory. Since 1983, The Dream Factory has been working to bring dreams to life for kids in Manitoba battling life-threatening illnesses. These Dreams range from trips to Disney World, bedroom makeovers, shopping sprees, swimming with dolphins, and so much more. In 2018, The Dream Factory is on track to make 35 dreams come true — one of the organizations busiest years ever!
“As a charity we keep growing, and we’re finding that the number of dreams we are delivering each year is increasing,” says Andrew Kussy, The Dream Factory’s Development Manager.
“That’s why we are so thrilled to be involved with Made Here. With the support of all of the makers and customers, we hope to bring an extra dream to life next year! That means the world to a family who has gone through an unthinkably difficult time with their sick child.”
Local makers helping local kids. It’s a perfect fit and a great reason to check out Made Here when shopping for your loved ones this holiday season. You can support The Dream Factory by shopping at Made Here or by visiting their website at www.thedreamfactory.ca