New Beginnings: Hidden Gem Henna & Nicole Tupechka, Reiki Master

A windy day at a market can be a frustrating introduction to the world of pop-up markets and retailing but the new vendors at the Bellwoods Flea had some slimmed down displays and a lot of enthusiasm. As Make Your Market has just launched we thought we’d catch up with a few new vendors just getting into the business.

MYM will be following up with these vendors in one year to see how they have progressed, whether the market scene followed through on their hopes and what they have learned going forward.


Nicole Tupechka, health professional

At her very first flea since jumping into healing work after a career in the not-for-profit sector, Nicole thinks she has hit on something great to expand her business. She teaches workshops and takes private clients in self-healing sessions throughout the week but hopes Flea markets can provide that personal exposure that can be necessary to broaden the clientele of a new business. At the markets Nicole has partnered with vendor, Ordinary Magic, to sell healing crystals.

From Nicole:

“It’s energy work so a lot of times people need to feel that or see it in person.”

“I look at business in a lot of different ways now. . . It’s a lot more enjoyable when you’re doing something that you love and is meaningful.”

“For the first time, money is coming second when I think about a job.”

A few tables over Tamar from Hidden Gem Henna is at just her second flea market after launching her business this January through Etsy, where she sells body art quality henna for hair dye. Tamar hopes the flea markets can provide a more personal connection for people to see her products in action and counter some of the shipping costs that can prevent people from buying online. She got into the business after two years of thinking about the idea, motivated by a personal allergy she has to chemical hair dye.

From Tamar:

“You can’t find good quality henna here”. This observation launched her on a quest to share what she had found with others.

“My first market went really well, a lot better than I thought it would. I wasn’t expecting all the support.”

“I really enjoy being able to interact face to face with people, . . . get to know them and anticipate what they are going to want.”

Know someone who is new to vending who has a story to tell? Get in touch with our team! We love to hear about up-and-coming vendors. Email us at hello@makeyourmarket.ca and thanks for reading!

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