Makers Markets begin the countdown to Christmas

Shoppers have headed out in force over the weekend to hit the German Christmas markets.

Stretching out over 10 different locations in the city centre, making it one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe, it definitely brings in a lot of tourism to Manchester and no doubt, gets you in the Yuletide spirit

But, if you cross the street and head towards Spinningfield’s Square, you can find a different Christmas market entirely. Makers Markets, established in 2011, have been setting up opportunities in and around Manchester for local artisans and 2015 marks the third year of their Christmas market. Over the 22 days the markets are running, you can expect to see 300 local artisans showcasing their business.

Vicky Jackson, one of the organisers of this event says the idea is to showcase and promote local businesses. “We’re a little bit different to the normal Christmas market. The plan is to get as many artisans as possible to be able to display their wares. It’s absolutely thrilling working with such talented people, there’s so much talent in Manchester. It’s incredible.”

All manner of stalls can be found in Spinningfield’s Square this Christmas. You can buy anything from handmade soap, to Christmas pudding. From paintings by Manchester artists to gourmet marshmallows. There is something for everyone and the best part is, you’re helping out the local community and boosting Manchester based business.

Hazel of Hazel Lyon, a jeweller and photographer said: “I’ve done a year with Makers Markets. It’s really cool to be here, it’s really cool to meet the people buying our products. Its got a real festive feel to it.” Mallamour Gourmet Marshmallows said: “It’s a great place to be at Christmas. It’s quite unique. There’s a lot of stuff here you don’t get at the German markets.

Silly’s Posh Tart’s founder Selina has been doing markets since the start of this year. After working many other markets she now only sells with Makers markets and for her, markets are ‘a platform.’ She said: “People buy off people don’t they?“ The creators of Corococo, who make vegan, cork products, are new to the business, “We have done three markets. They sell unusual stuff.” They admit that this market is good for them because the plots are more affordable for smaller businesses.

It is a wonder though, how a local market can compare to the much larger German markets, set up by Manchester Markets, literally across the street. Vicky said: “We’re showcasing slightly different things but we very much benefit from the German markets. The more you have in one location the better.”

It would seem the sellers aren’t too bothered about the competition of other markets in the area. Hazel said: “I don’t really know what’s going on at the other market. People like to chat to the makers. They like to see the face behind the product.” Charlotte of House of Che Che said: “You’ve got a lot of people here who are independents who you wouldn’t necessarily come across unless you came here. [This market’s] got a real buzz to it. Its not rammed where you’re shoulder to shoulder like the German markets are. They’re fab but if you need a little bit more space you’ve got it here.”

The Christmas markets are open from 11am until 7pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the run up to Christmas.