Local Shoppers Meet Makers at Market Day

DES MOINES, Iowa -- "We know a lot of people that make cool stuff and we wanted to bring the people that make great things together with audiences who are local, who might want to support these local businesses," said Dani Ausen, Director of Market Day. "And, that`s how Market Day was born."

Market Day had small beginnings. When it started in 2009, the event had only 15 vendors, but the free event has come a long way since then. It's now held in the Atrium at Capital Square, where thousands of local shoppers can discover original gifts from more than 75 Iowa and Midwest makers.

Daphne Sayers is one such maker. Sayers, has a really creative way of making things. It's a process that involves a lot of recycling.

"I recycle old books into journals," said Sayers. "So, like books that people are getting rid of, I take them apart. I make them pretty inside and coupling pages, so it recycles them and makes them useful again."

The opportunity for shoppers to meet product makers is a selling point for Market Day; it's something vendors say the event brings to the table, that other shopping experiences don't always offer.

"I think it's nice to meet the person who actually makes the item you're buying," said Sayers. "And also, then you know who you`re helping out when you spend your money, whereas I think Walmart probably has enough money. I think it's nice to know I`m helping out a real person in my community or in my area, and I like to find out the story behind what they do and why they do it."

It's a point not lost on Alexandria Stratton, a local shopper.

"This stuff is not mass-produced," said Stratton. "A lot of it is local. It`s found in Iowa and I always like to support the community and it gives to the community and it puts money into the people that live in Iowa."