Marketplace for local makers launches at Studio Park

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The local gift shop will feature products made by over 30 diverse, independent makers from the greater Grand Rapids area. Courtesy Studio C

Studio C, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce opened the Marketplace at Studio Park on Friday.

The local gift shop, powered by Pack Elephant, is the result of a collaborative effort and will feature products made by over 30 diverse, independent makers from the greater Grand Rapids area. Ongoing workshops and events are planned to further support artisan entrepreneurs.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Marketplace and Pack Elephant to Downtown,” said Tim Kelly, president and CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. “This creative initiative at Studio Park will provide a highly visible platform for local entrepreneurs, promote the growth of small businesses at a critical time for our economy and continue to diversify the mix of retail offerings in downtown.”

Pack Elephant enables an equitable and sustainable gifting economy for conscious consumers and business customers by making crafts easy to find, elevating makers while telling their stories and streamlining access to cool products with a “build your own box” model that comes in gift-ready packaging.

“I’m incredibly honored that Pack Elephant is being trusted with this activation at such a critical time for our small business community,” said Winsome Kirton, founder and CEO of Pack Elephant. “We are reinventing the gifting experience with a sophisticated, streamlined shop where every gift purchase makes a significant impact on many local makers at one time.”

The socially distanced grand opening will be an indoor-outdoor event with maker showcases inside and a heated bar and holiday movies playing outside in the Studio Park Piazza on Saturday.

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