Please note: This interview was conducted on April 30, 2018. We've updated the introduction to reflect their new retail space; however, the interview itself remains unchanged.
The Makers Keep is a retail space dedicated to making shopping local easier for everyone. They currently have three locations: Kingsway Mall, the Brewery District, and Currents of Windermere. Not only do they live and breath supporting local, but you can also shop our products at their stores!
Keep on reading for the short interview we did with owner Katrina Petryshyn.
What was the intention behind starting The Makers Keep?
I had been a part of the market scene for years with my jewelry business. After having my first son, it was getting too hard to do markets every weekend. The 4 to 5 day markets, out of town pop-ups, etc. were too much, but I didn’t want to stop doing what I loved. We had recently lived in South Africa and these collective type stores were everywhere! They were so amazing and inspirational. One day, shortly after Zavier turned one, it hit me: I should create a collective here in Edmonton. A place where local makers (like myself) could sell their goods in a marketplace atmosphere but without all the hassle. I proposed the idea to some friends and before I knew it, I had a space and we were open! I ultimately wanted a space for myself to work at, create, and meet fellow makers. The store is an outlet for like-minded individuals to sell the work, collaborate and network, all while exposing more people to shopping local and supporting small businesses.
Where can people find the Makers Keep?
We have two locations. One just outside the Brewery District downtown. This store is small and full of amazing things! The address is Unit 154 10403-122 street (in the Glenora Gates building).
The second location is in Kingsway Mall. We are on the lower level across from H&M and a few doors down from Homesense.
What is your favourite part about running your own business?
The flexibility! As a mom of 2, I am always busy so being able to work evenings or weekends and stay home during the day with my boys is perfect. It's amazing the feeling you get knowing you are in charge of your own destiny. I thrive in chaos and owning your own business sometimes feels like a constant state of chaos, so I am in my element!
The Makers Keep is a business based off of collective. Why is this important to you?
The Makers Keep would not exist without all the amazing brands we work with. Period. The whole concept of the store is built on bringing makers together to sell in a collective environment. Collaboration is very important in this industry. The maker world is small, and I truly believe that in order for us all to succeed and bring awareness to the maker movement, we need to collectively work together. Bring each other up and highlight everyone’s strengths! This store would not be what it is without the collective aspect that it has. I am eternally grateful for everyone I work with and value my relationships with them all!
How do you choose what brands to carry in the shop?
This is always hard. I never want to turn anyone down. But I do have some basic criteria that I look for. First off, I look to see if its something we already have in store. If we do have something similar, I see if its different enough and would enhance the shopping experience at the store. Then I consider the quality of the products. Are they well made? Has a lot of thought and care gone into making it? You can always tell if its something that has just been slapped together or if it's been make with blood, sweat, and tears!
Lastly, I look at the overall brand. Do they have a following and good marketing? Is there packaging on point? I don’t judge solely on this. I just like to see if they take it seriously and if this is something they really want to explore or if they just got the creative bug and started making stuff. I have to be a little more selective nowadays as I do get many applications daily.
Any big plans for the Makers Keep you are willing to share?
Well, funny you should ask! Yes, we actually have something BIG up our sleeves. I will be announcing it soon so stay tuned!