Interview with Make It Vancouver’s Jenna Herbut

Make It Vancouver marks the kick off to the Holiday Craft Shows this season, November 8-11 at the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive. The term “craft show” may conjure up ideas of Christmas decorations and fruit cake but the brother/sister duo behind this event have put a fabulous spin on the idea. We spoke with Jenna Herbut to find out a little more about what makes this 4 day event so special.

Tell is about Make It Vancouver:  Make It is a craft show extravaganza that features designers and artisans from all over Canada. We also have performances from super awesome musicians, food carts and a bar! It is pretty much all the best things you can imagine all under one roof.

How long has the show been running? For over 4 years. This is our 7th show in Vancouver.

Who’s the team behind the show? Make It is organized by my younger brother Chandler and I. We get along like peas and carrots most of the time! Chandler is really savvy at designing all our marketing materials, creating the floor plan and finding musicians. I deal with all the lovely designers, sponsors, and the press and media. We are always looking for new creative ways to improve the show for our designers and customers.

How does Make It differentiate itself from other shows? I think the vibe at the show is pretty darn amazing. Everyone is always having such a great time…and it is not just because of the bar 😉

Make It is coming up in less than a week! What makes this year different than previous? What are you most excited about? This is our biggest show ever! We have over 140 designers this time and are ridiculously excited about how the show has grown over the past few years. We are expecting over 10,000 shoppers so the Croatian Cultural Centre is going to be bumping!

Make It provides a fabulous opportunity for people to find amazing locally made goods, twice a year in two major Canadian cities. Why do you personally feel its important to shop local? What are some ways that you shop local throughout the year? I think it is important to shop local for many reasons. It is a great way to support creative people to keep doing what they are doing. You also find super cool stuff that hardly anyone else has which is always a great feeling. I always love hearing the story behind the products and about who made them. In Vancouver there are SO many amazing independent stores that focus on carrying local and Canadian made items so it is pretty easy to shop this way throughout the year. It is win win!

You introduced Make It University in the Spring. What was your goal with launching this program? How has the response been? What can people look forward to in the future? I started Make It University in March 2012 because I wanted to help designers and artisans sharpen their business skills so they could have as much success as possible doing what they love. The response has been great and I have over 100 students. I also worked with Etsy in creating a course that helps Etisans get started online. In the future I am planning to relaunch and improve the usability of the site. I also have tons of ideas for new courses. I am so new to the online education world and there is so much I am constantly learning.

Make It takes place in the Spring and Summer in both Vancouver & Edmonton. For more information and for a full list of designers, check the website at Find more information on Make It University here.
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