The wonderful community of young entrepreneurs and artists that are waiting to be discovered is not something you want to miss!
Guest Writer: Avryl Bender
I am currently the ‘Youth In Highlight’ columnist for The Post and a member of the Cultural Round Table for the town of Hanover. As a high school student with a true love of literature, I look forward to opportunities where I can write, meet new people and discover the hidden gems of our community.
Growing up in the south of Grey County, I fondly remember the thrill of my family’s annual holiday road trip to the big city. With a detailed list in hand, we ventured forth in pursuit of perfect gifts for those we love. This year, I have felt a certain nostalgia for those big city trips—the inspiring busyness of the city lights, the whimsical window displays and the warmth of a hot chocolate in hand as we wandered through those vibrant urban streets. But, among the many lessons that this pandemic has taught me, one of them is to appreciate what our local community has to offer. It is incredibly fulfilling to support businesses that benefit our local environment, economy and culture. The wonderful community of young entrepreneurs and artists that are waiting to be discovered is not something you want to miss!
Last Saturday, I found myself en route to the Student Makers Market in Owen Sound. When I first stepped into the festively decorated Grey County Business Enterprise Centre which is located in the former Sydenham School, I was inspired by the entrepreneurial endeavours of students, near my age. Tables displayed hand-crafted products ranging from tie-dyed face masks to gluten-free cookie mixes. Vendors willingly articulated their vision, process and passion while showcasing their products. As successful micro grant recipients, each of the sellers benefited from training and resources provided by the Grey County Enterprise Centre. While all of them warrant a story, here is an abbreviated introduction to a few of these ambitious and talented young individuals.
Will Diaze, an eighteen-year-old student of cabinetmaking at Georgian College, has inherited the family talent for woodworking. Through his new business, Timmerwerk, he creates decorative trays, necklaces, earrings and bowls from exotic woods. All of these precise inlay marquetry pieces feature the natural beauty and colour of the reclaimed wood that he works with. Diaze’s attention to exquisite detail is evident in his craftsmanship.
Jullianne’s grandmother knows the secrets to the best preserves—everything from pickles to peaches. This summer, Jullianne dedicated her time to learning about these “family-famous” preserves by spending part of her vacation on her Grandma’s farm. The Student Makers Market Micro Grant Program gave her the opportunity to expand her business from her family to her community. She now preserves and markets a variety of tasty family recipes for others to enjoy.
At only the age of thirteen, Sophia Sangiuliano is already selling her own carefully crafted prints, stickers and clay pins. The art varies from a detailed whale splashing out of the water to lemons and abstract faces. Her creative use of watercolours and a black felt-tip pen left me eager to see her future creations!
These days, many of us are continually asking ourselves what is actually in our food. In an age where so much of what we buy is heavily processed, some of us are opting to shop organic and local. If we are doing this for ourselves, why aren’t we doing this for out pets? Emma Bergman sells locally sourced organic quality dog, cat and horse treats. Her business name, Jacklyn’s Biscuits, receives its inspiration from her own beloved dog Jackie.
This holiday season, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means that we cannot go on that big-city shopping spree, but fortunately, there are young entrepreneurs who envision a future where we know the source of our goods and the hands that made them. Why not create new local holiday traditions by discovering what these businesses have to offer as you buy gifts for your family, friends and yes... even your pets!
Here is a list of everyone who was showcased at the Student Makers Market:
Creations by Kiara
Daisy Doodle Ink
Grandma Hisey’s Homemade Preserves
Mutts About You
Tot’s Tie Dye
Megs Homemade Masks