Vancouver’s fall market season is in full swing, which means the return of some of the city’s beloved small-business and artisan pop-ups, plus a few new additions. Joining Fall For Local and the inaugural First Pick Handmade this month is an event that falls into the “old favourites” category: Portobello West.
Inspired by world-renowned London market of the same name, the maker market returns to Olympic Village Plaza (1 Athlete’s Way) on September 16 and 17 with over 40 talented designers, distillers, and others in tow. There, attendees will find everything from ceramic tableware and multi-purpose rope baskets to hand-stitched leather bags and healing body butters.
Edible goods include premium spirits by Surrey’s Dragon Mist Distillery, handcrafted macarons from Countertop Pastries, and artisan chocolates by the North Vancouver–based Coconama, plus a lineup of some of the city’s most in-demand food trucks. Best of all, shoppers who show up with a gently used purse or bag for Dress for Success Vancouver will get in for free.
Ahead, a roundup of some of B.C.’s best makers, designers, and briners (yes, briners!)—and their handcrafted goods—that you can expect to see at this fall’s Portobello West.
Local designer Michelle Pang’s works look like something out of a fairytale: all whimsical critters, soft pastel shades, and vibrant fruit, jewels, and flora presented in a way joins each element together in a seamless vignette.
The original illustrations are digitally printed on luxe 100-percent silk scarves, and are designed and made in Vancouver, to boot. Wear one as a statement-making shawl or rock it as a belt with your favourite denim shorts or as an accessory around the strap of a backpack.
Watershed Wax Company
Those who live by the mantra “Buy it for life” will love Watershed Wax Company. The Squamish-based company crafts durable—and decidedly West Coast—toiletry bags, home goods, and utility rolls that are perfect for storing cosmetic brushes, tools, small electronics, and more.
All products are coated in a nontoxic, ecofriendly wax that protects them from harsh weather conditions and, eventually, helps tem age beautifully. Check out Watershed’s growler carriers and waxed canvas baskets, the latter of which make cozy homes for plants.
Barrelhouse Brine Co.
Pickle connoisseurs—or, really, anyone who enjoys the occasional pickleback—know that the secret behind a great-tasting pickle is in the brine. And few take as much pride in their salt-and-water solution as Barrelhouse Brine Co.
The East Van company produces small-batch, handcrafted pickles that are crispy, juicy, and with just the right balance of tang and sweetness. But the fun doesn’t just stop there: visit Barrelhouse’s booth at Portobello and you’ll also find freshly pickled beans, pineapples, and the betselling “half sour” cucumber variation that’s infused with a slight kick.
Wolf Clothing Co.
As a kid, socks were likely the last thing you wanted to rip open from under the tree, but there’s joy in spending your hard-earned cash on shit you actually need once you get older. (Bonus points if said shit you actually need looks pretty decent, too!)
Enter Wolf Clothing Co., a local men’s sock and accessory company that offers a selection of playful stockings and pins for the dapper gentleman—or gentlemen—in your life. We love the blue-and-red Rose-patterned socks and the moose pins that adds a touch of Canadiana to your lapel.
Shoreline Body Co.
Interested in transitioning to—or test-driving—a natural skincare routine? Check out Shoreline Body Co., a Ucluelet-born skin- and bodycare startup that crafts an assortment of natural products formulated without harmful toxins and other additives.
From the bestselling Calm Seas Bath Soak, a mix pain-relieving pink Himalayan, Dead Sea, and Epsom salts, to the calming serums, toners, and essential oil–infused Body Buttas, all formulas are made in small batches with an emphasis on locally foraged botanicals.
Portobello West takes place at Olympic Village Plaza on September 16 and 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Admission is $2 at the door. To view the full list of vendors, visit Portobello West's website.