Between 2002 and 2012, I was selling Shiver Soap in church basements, community centres and small festivals as a hobby artisan. I created the Half Moon based on what I wanted from craft show: I wanted a high level of organization from craft show leaders. I wanted a good advertising effort even if the budget was small. I wanted innovation, affordability and a sense of community. The craft shows that appealed to me most and where I felt “I fit in” were just too expensive. The first Half Moon Market was hosted at Luxalune in South Osborne.
I have a day job that I really like (on most days) so I don’t rely on this show to pay my bills. This is a genuine labor of love.
In February 2016 Luxalune shut its doors to go into full time beer production as Farmery Beer. I secured a venue at The Black Rabbit but after it closed suddenly, I was a little screwed. I had 25 artisans paid and committed and no venue. Then I found the Kings Head and the Half Moon found its home base.
As a customer, imagine browsing one of a kind local artisans with a glass of draft. Twenty-foot ceilings fill with sunlight and outside you hear the hum of Winnipeg’s historical exchange district. As an artisan, imagine being part of a vibrant sale. In between customers you can order glass a glass of Shiraz from the bar or help yourself to complimentary coffee and cookies.
The Half Moon Market aims to showcase a diverse, ever changing group of artisans. There are a handful of events each year and each event will offer an variety of new and returning artisans. My original intention and continued endeavor is to create a show that customers and vendors are equally excited to be a part of. To ensure physical accessibility, I have begun offering one show a year in a larger venue that is wheelchair and stroller friendly.
The Half Moon will never charge customers an admission price. It seems silly, to me, to pay to shop.