Gladstone Hotel:What made you start Mondo Bazaar ten years ago and why is the Gladstone a good fit for it?
Gail Glatt: Ten years ago when I started the Mondo Bazaar market, it was frankly, all about me. My love of shopping, my love of selling and the pleasure I took in organizing events and parties. Living in downtown west, I was drawn to the Gladstone Hotel and became compelled to plan something…anything..to use that magnificent Ballroom space.
I had been hosting home kitchen sales for a number of years that included not only local artisans and designers, but entrepreneurs bringing fabulous items from distant lands. Sometimes a massage therapist friend operated out of an adjacent room to enhance the shopping experience. The events became very popular. Clearly, it was time for expansion. The first Mondo Bazaar took place in the building prior to the first major renovation, making it a particularly interesting and authentic venue.
From a one room affair with 15 vendors in the early days, to this year’s two day holiday event with more than 60 booths throughout the weekend, this holiday sale has become a popular alternative to the larger artisan shows that are not always affordable or accessible to all. Admission has always been free and vendors provide items to giveaway all day long through draws…with no purchase necessary.
Gladstone Hotel: What’s the best thing about Mondo Bazaar?
Gail Glatt: The real story here though is the vendors themselves. They range from first timers to those who own their own shops or exhibit in major shows. A few years ago I started a “yooth booth” section and gave free booths to kids who wanted to try their hand at selling their home made treasures. Now several of these youth have been successful enough to rent their own booth at the event. There are also vendors who who work corporate jobs by day but explore their artistic side during off hours, by putting their home made products out there. Others have found their passion unexpectedly, through travel, inspiration from others or experiences in their lives. A fantastic diversity of products and people.
Gladstone Hotel: What can people expect to find at this year’s Mondo Bazaar?
Gail Glatt: Items for sale include anything from edibles, kids clothing, jewellery, body products, home décor, up-cycled clothing, ceramic, paper design – and the list goes on and on. Mostly it is a mix of eco-friendly, local and organic, with a little fair trade thrown in.
Every vendor has a story to tell related to the source of their materials, how they discovered their own talent and what the challenges and successes have been in getting to where they are. Mostly though, one is struck by the satisfaction they feel in sharing their gifts with others.
Find out more about this year’s Mondo Bazaar on our website!