This holiday season dozens of South Cariboo crafters are inviting shoppers into their homes as part of the Follow That Map: Cariboo Shop Till You Drop tour.
Formed as an alternative to craft markets for those unable to attend markets due to time constraints or vaccination status, the tour invites shoppers to travel directly to the homes of 22 local artisans. The event was organized by Cecilia de Groot, of Paper Cranes For Hope, who said it came together spontaneously in November.
“A while back I saw someone suggesting it in a Facebook group and it wasn’t happening. Then someone else said let’s do this so I said let’s make this happen. I just put the word out there and everybody came together,” de Groot said. “It’s awesome. Everybody took a really good leadership role and helped make it happen.”
Since Nov. 13, the 22 vendors on the map began opening up their homes every Saturday and are scheduled to do so until Dec. 18. The Facebook group they organized through, Follow That Map: Cariboo Shop Til You Drop Information Booth, now has close to 400 members and publishes a digital map every week of participating crafters.
One of the stops on the map is the Forest Grove home of Jenifer Kosman, who is selling personalized shirts, tumblers and decals.
“When we lived on the coast I used to make goat soap. When we sold our farm and moved up here I kind of decided to go on another adventure,” Kosman said. “It gives me something to do in between teaching my kids and gives us a little extra money.”
With Christmas on the horizon, Kosman said many of the tour stops are pushing their Christmas wares and have contributed to four baskets that will be given away in a raffle after the tour. Items being sold include origami swans, gnomes, beef jerky, handmade jewelry, dog food and Christmas decorations.
“The whole hope is that people will find out we’re all here and then come check us all out,” Kosman said.“Supporting local is our biggest kick right now. Having the community be able to support the community is always fantastic.”
de Groot said that she hopes to be able to run the event again in the spring and keep it going as a “living document” of local artisans. With more time to prepare, they’d be able to produce brochures and distribute them to those who don’t use Facebook.
“I love 100 Mile and the surrounding area,” she said. “There’s a lot of amazing creators and artists here I’d like to get on the map.”