A note from Mel

I started running in-person handmade markets in 2012, and instantly found my dream job! Over the course of a decade, I ran 50+ markets, learned a ton, made so many new friends, and saw the shop local movement explode in our region. 

But when the pandemic hit, everything changed. I had to pivot, fast. 

At Picks and Giggles, my goal has always been to leverage our following to support our local makers and small businesses. For a variety of reasons, I could not say HELL YES to a virtual market experience. 


If you know me, you know that I lead with passion. I have to love what I’m doing and know that the outcome means success for everyone involved.⁣  I’ve always led my business on the premise that I’m only successful if the participants are – and virtual markets just did not feel like the best way to accomplish that. 

Instead, Picks and Giggles launched the first ever Unboxed Wishbook, a massive online catalogue featuring hundreds of items from local makers. Edition one was released in October 2020, and edition two launched in spring 2021. We estimate that these catalogues reached over 35,000 customers across the GTA! 

During this time I also had the privilege of helping to launch and manage the new Urban Market in downtown Oshawa, a modernized farmer’s market experience in the historic former RBC building. After eventually transitioning out of that role, I was so excited to start doing what I love the most: connecting local makers with customers IN REAL LIFE! 

It’s never been more important to support local businesses. I can’t even begin to say how thrilled I am to kick off a new era for Picks and Giggles handmade markets, and continue championing the makers and creators who make our communities what they are. 

Here’s to the future! 

Love, Mel


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