For the second year in a row, the Little Mountain Holiday Pop-Up Shop is calling The Polygon Gallery its home for the holiday season.
This festive pop-up features a carefully curated lineup of handcrafted and one-of-a-kind products from local vendors, with a special focus on creations by women and BIPOC.
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Natasha Neale, founder of Little Mountain Shop, made the difficult decision to close her beloved storefront on Main Street in the early days of the pandemic. When The Polygon Gallery reached out to her last year to organize their first-ever pop-up, she leapt at the chance. It went so well that’s she back for another year.
Neale praises in particular how The Polygon is a nonprofit gallery housed in a beautiful building with a stunning view. “I love collaborating with other spaces, doing a pop-up within another community-building place,” she says.
“Why I do these is that we have such talent here,” she explains. “You don’t have to go to big-box stores, the malls or Amazon. I’m promoting talented makers and creatives in our own city.”
Neale scours Instagram and local markets to find these artisans: “I’m really pounding the pavement, going to all the markets, reaching out to people. And I find we have a really good community of makers here.”
Some of the products featured in this year’s holiday pop-up shop include modern Japanese botanical art by Wa Moga 29, natural skincare products by Kōv, sustainable sleepwear by Paper Label and breathable underwear by Huha. Also available are handcrafted chocolates by Kaaj, organic tea blends by Fleurs and nut butters by Mumgry, along with sewing kits by Seluna and jewellery by Lover’s Tempo. (See the complete list of vendors here.)
New for 2021 is the Meet the Makers series. Each Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., one local vendor gets the spotlight. Shoppers can browse and learn more about the maker while enjoying live music, then wander through the gallery’s exhibition by Vancouver artist Steven Shearer.
Neale is passionate about how connecting local artisans with local shoppers makes all the difference, because it allows shoppers to hear the fascinating stories behind the products.
“Yes, you can buy candles everywhere, and this candle smells good and is gorgeous, but once you hear the story, you’re invested,” she says. “And that’s really the difference of shopping at a space like this versus at a space in a mall.”
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Little Mountain Holiday Pop-Up Shop
Location: The Polygon Gallery, 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Dates: Wednesday to Sunday from November 24 to December 26 (closed December 25)