Hands up for handmade
WHEN ETSY FIRST SHOWED up on the virtual platform, their main focus was to be an e-commerce website exclusively selling all things handmade by independent artisans.
Although now it allows the sale of unique factory-manufactured items on its e-commerce site, Etsy still remains the go-to platform for handmade crafts enthusiasts to market their products.
Here in Kuching, we have plenty of bazaars and fairs catering to small business owners but none so far totally dedicated to handmade items.
It was this gap on the local bazaar scene that prompted Trudy Tan from INDAH House Kuching to come up with the Sam-Pat Bazaar for handmade products.
According to Tan, INDAH wanted to support Sarawak’s artisans because they felt that there wasn’t a strong platform for them to promote their products.
“I think all these people are hidden gems; it is very difficult to find them,” said Tan.
Through connections and word of mouth, they managed to gather a handful of people and held the first Sam-Pat Bazaar on Nov 29.
“We wanted to make sure everything was 100 per cent handmade. We wanted to make sure people who made the products were physically there during the bazaar,” Tan shared.
“We believe that when you want to sell your product you also want to tell a story. Nobody else can tell the story better than you. That is why we started this bazaar,” she said, adding that they themselves can start talking to people on what makes handmade items so special.
Tan hoped that through this platform more of Kuching’s hidden talents could be discovered and brought to the forefront.
On the challenges faced at a handmade goods bazaar, Tan said: “I think one of the struggles when people come to a bazaar which is not selling 100 per cent handmade items, people tend to make price comparisons between products that are handmade and products that made from China.”
Following the success of first Sam-Pat Bazaar, this 100 per cent handmade items bazaar will make a comeback this coming Jan 10.
The event will feature ten handmade crafts vendors who are based in Kuching.
Among them is Lim Chi Yin from Poco Handmade who started making soft toys out of socks since 2011.
Happy to join Sam-Pat Bazaar, Lim shared her disappointment from joining other bazaars before this because there were more vendors selling items they ordered online instead of making their own products.
Eileen Phoan who will be joining Sam-Pat bazaar the second time said having a handmade bazaar is very important in a way that it does not only support the handmade business but it also supports other business that provide materials like a fabric store.
Phoan, a jewellery maker from Left&Right emphasised: “Why it is so important to have things locally-made is it because you actually support the local business, you keep the cash flow in the market itself.”
Also making a return to the bazaar is Husnul Khatimah Wajidi or better known as ‘Jane’ from Crunchy Handmades.
Jane started her own skincare products after she developed allergies to commercial brands available in stores during her pregnancy.
Crunchy Handmades now sells soaps, carrier oils, essential oils, lip balms lotion bars, massage oils and natural mosquito repellent.
The upcoming bazaar will also feature henna artists from Steady Hands.
Steady Hands will have a special promotion this Jan 10; the first three bold people to walk into the bazaar can get a henna crown done, free-of-charge.
Sam-Pat Bazaar will be held at INDAH’s first floor, 38 Upper China Street Kuching.
For more updates on the bazaar, check INDAH’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IndahHouseKuching?ref=ts&fref=ts.