You’ve seen the buzz about it on social media, but what exactly is CoTown Collab? A market and then some.
CoTown Collab is a two-day event (this Friday and Saturday) featuring a market where LOCAL artisans and stores will be selling their goods, and workshops where LOCAL folks will be teaching the tricks of their trade, from floral design to cookie decorating.
The market is FREE to get into and includes everything from jewelry to coffee, art to clothing, pottery to food. The workshops have an admission fee and tickets can be purchased at CoTownCollab.com.
The market/workshop combo is a fairly new concept for Waco, but something that pops up regularly in Austin at events such as craftHER Market and Renegade Craft Fair.
CoTown Collab co-founder Maggie Dietrick said it was just time to bring that caliber of market to Waco. She and co-founder Ashley Futris also decided they wanted this market to be uber-local, rather than bring in vendors from all over.
“Locals truly are the heart of this,” Dietrick, owner of Margrit Co. jewelry, said. She got her start in downtown Waco before it was bustling with visitors and she said it was local customers who kept her afloat. Now she wants to return the favor and introduce local shoppers to other local makers.
“We just want to really showcase Waco’s best.” Dietrick said.
Showcase is another key concept for CoTown Collab. Futris views the market as a chance not only for people to shop but also for people to discover new downtown businesses, without having to roam all over downtown. As owner of Bolt 254, a boutique on Mary Avenue, Futris said she is aware of a disconnect, that some Wacoans feel that downtown is only for tourists. She hopes, through CoTown Collab, to rally the community to want to come back downtown, to shop, kayak or just grab coffee.
“There really is a lot to do downtown,” Futris said.
CoTown Collab is at The Phoenix Ballroom, 401 S. 3rd St., where there is ample (free)parking, which organizers hope will make it even more attractive to locals.
Futris and Dietrick, who have both worked other markets, hope they are building something that the public will enjoy AND vendors will deem successful.
“I’m hoping it’s annual and we get to the point where we need a bigger venue even,” Futris said.
CoTown Collab at The Phoenix Ballroom, 401 S. 3rd St.
May 10: 2 – 8p. , May 11: 9a. – 6p.
Admission to market: FREE
Admission to workshops: see website
Parking: FREE in Phoenix parking lot.