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Make It! seeks to provide an alternative consumer experience

Make It! The Handmade Revolution
Alberta Aviation Museum, $5
makeitproductions.com

The handmade movement in fashion is here to stay: Etsy isn't going anywhere, handmade clothes can be found at the downtown farmers' market and hipster craft shows continue to proliferate. Jenna Herbut was one of the brains behind Edmonton's early forays into hipper craft shows—her and partner Ally Ng (who still runs Handmade Mafia) put on the Stop and Shop in 2007—and Herbut, along with her brother Chandler, will bring the Make It! craft show back to Edmonton from November 17 – 20.

It all started with Booty Beltz, Herbut's first foray into the garment business. As the popularity of her belts increased, Herbut found herself burnt out by the wholesaling aspect and started to sell her work at craft fairs instead, but even that seemed a bit disappointing.

“I just felt like the whole craft show thing just was kind of stale, [had a] lack of fun,” she says. “The first show I produced in Edmonton had a bar, had DJs, had live music so it was just a way of twisting a traditional craft sale and making it cool and hip so that people my own age would come.”

That's been the guiding principle behind all of her subsequent sales as well as Make It! which is held in Edmonton and Vancouver: make sure it attracts younger consumers. It's something that, as the DIY movement takes greater and greater hold on the culture, is getting easier.

“I think our generation is really sick of buying all this mass produced crap that doesn't have any connection,” Herbut says. “Especially in a city like Edmonton where we have the big mall, South Edmonton Common and all the big chains, it feels really special to come to an event like Make It! and interact with all these designers. It's finding something you'll never find anywhere else in the city, and the story behind it—especially for gifts—is a really attractive quality.”
 

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