Where do witches, the magically inclined and self-declared weirdos go to sell their goods? As of June 24, the answer is the Wicked Bazaar.
Founder of the Wicked Bazaar and business owner of Momma Bat Witchery Kari Giavedoni, with the support of friends and loved ones, debuted Winnipeg’s first witchy market.
”I have a business where I do tarot readings, astrology readings,” Giavedoni said. “I sell crystals. I sell crystal jewelry. I sell spell jars, ceramics, all kinds of stuff that you would find in a metaphysical or witchy shop.”
The bazaar was created in part to provide alternative makers with opportunities they often don’t get in larger markets.
“I’ve been doing that since 2018, and so I’ve also been doing markets since 2018,” Giavedoni said. “And, unfortunately, I’ve been rejected from a lot of markets.”
Rejection and inspiration go hand in hand for the birth of the Wicked Bazaar. While Giavedoni expressed feelings of not fitting in at conventional and traditional markets, she also found inspiration from witch markets in other cities with a larger scene.
Another source of inspiration behind the market’s creation was Giavedoni’s dream of opening a store.
“But I also am a stay-at-home mom,” she said. “I have three young children as well, and it’s just not the right time for me to open a store.”
Twenty-seven vendors, Giavedoni included, filled her yard on the day of the first Wicked Bazaar, and the event also featured a fire dancer. Participants were greeted by electricity, volunteers on site and a venue where they could comfortably sell their goods and services.
“There was a lot of work that went into it,” Giavedoni explained. “We fed everybody, which was, I think, a really nice touch. And when I say ‘everybody,’ we fed the volunteers and vendors.”
Giavedoni explained that, when she was participating in other markets, she often did so alone. It was rare to have someone along to help her, and because of this things like eating and using the washroom were next to impossible. These experiences fueled her desire to create the bazaar with vendors’ needs in mind.
The bazaar also featured a donation drive for the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, and Giavedoni plans to do another at the next event.
“I’m going to be doing a donation drive pretty much at all of the events,” she said. “I really enjoy working with the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre for a couple reasons. I have acquaintances and friends that do work with them, so that’s why I chose that one.”
Giavedoni said that, to incentivize donations, Prairie Sky Books, a Wolseley staple, donated a prize. Attendees who donated were entered for a chance to win.
The event went smoothly and left her speechless. With close to 500 attendees, Giavedoni felt that it came close to perfection and is excited for the next market.
When asked if there was any concern with hosting a market that could be considered taboo, Giavedoni said that, while it was on her mind, she didn’t have any doubts or fears.
“I think there’s a couple reasons why,” she said. “The neighbourhood, first of all. Wolseley is pretty ‘crunchy,’ pretty open and accepting of any type of lifestyle.”
She added that there are several people in her neighbourhood who live a similar lifestyle to her own. Some of them were even vending at her market.
“It’s kind of a good time to do a witches’ market or open a witch store or have a witches’ business because it’s interesting,” she said. “It’s trending now a little bit.”
“I’m 34 years old, so I’m millennial, and if you were like this in school, it wasn’t cool. But I feel like if you’re like this now you might be considered cool, you know?”
With the success of the first market, Giavedoni and her support system of her experienced friends and husband have already started advertising and planning for more markets in August, October and December. The next market is the Wicked Bazaar: Lammas Harvest Moon.
“It’s on a Wednesday,” she said. “It’s Lammas, which is a pagan Wiccan Sabbath, which is basically just like a witchy holiday.”
The bazaar will once again be at her home in Wolseley. The vendors are already picked and she’s feeling confident. “I’m just really excited for everything that’s to come.”
The next Wicked Bazaar will be Aug. 2 at 1184 Wolseley Ave. from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.