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ShopColumbia’s 15th Annual Holiday Market adds new artists, with extended hours

ShopColumbia ,located at 619 S. Wabash Ave., displays student and alumni work for sale on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. (K’Von Jackson)

Browsing the offerings at ShopColumbia with a few selected items in hand, senior music major Lily Snider was looking for Christmas and secret Santa gifts for family and coworkers at ShopColumbia’s 15th Annual Holiday Market.

The market, at the store’s 619 S. Wabash location, is chock-a-block full of gifts, ranging from T-shirts to fashion major clothing, jewelry, posters, ceramics and photographs, Hungarian and knitwear hats, zines and more displayed on tables, in glass cases and hung on the shop’s walls.

With many new artist contributors’ work on display and the possibility of extended hours, shoppers could have extra time to pick up last minute gifts.

As an artist herself, jazz singer Snider prefers the handmade made items at ShopColumbia because the price points are good, she said.

“Right now I’ve got this cute little fish pin with hearts on it; that’s going to be my secret Santa gift,” Snider said. “I’ve got some beautiful earrings made of recycled leather that are purple, pink, brown and yellow with pretty gold leaves at the end for my mother and a Columbia Family T-shirt for my other mother.”

Ronda PayneShopColumbia’s director of Student Spaces and Retail Strategies, said ShopColumbia is a learning laboratory. “Students can sell whatever they’re making in class but are not limited to only what they are making in their major,” she said.

Columbia College students, alumni, faculty or staff are eligible to submit their work year round to the ShopColumbia Review Committee, which looks for originality, quality craftsmanship and cohesiveness. 

Additional considerations by the committee are legal requirements such as copyright, libelous or defamatory content or products that violate federal, state, county or city laws. Perishable items or products and candles are not accepted.

Creators will be contacted about the status of their submission for sale online.

Senior music major, shop contributor and staffer, Lotusfrogs, has items like stickers, prints and greeting cards for sale in this year’s Holiday Market.

“I think ShopColumbia is a great way for artists to dip their toes into the business and figure out if selling their work is something they want to do in the future and to figure out the logistics of [sales] since we have to think about things like restocking our work,” Lotusfrog said. “It gives us a lot of independence in that sense.”

She has noticed an increase in shopper traffic due to students returning to after the Thanksgiving Break when courses that had not met because of the strike resumed with replacement teachers.

“I feel like the strike has affected shopper traffic a little bit during the peak of the strike in October,” Lotusfrog said. “Not many people were coming in because there weren’t many people showing up for classes; they weren’t being held. Now that more classes are back in session we’ve seen a rise in traffic in the Holiday Market. It’s been a nice, positive thing to bring back.”

Because Lotusfrog also works at the shop, she gets to see what sells and what does not.

“I feel like students and the general public pick out the stickers a lot because we have so many different ones and the price ranges are wonderful,” Lotusfrog said.

Her stickers depict Chicago pigeons wearing winter gear; she thought they were cute, funny and something people in Chicago could relate to, she said.

There are approximately 40 new artists at the Holiday Market this year.

One new artist, Nailz by Arey, is selling packs of already painted and blinged out acrylic nails, application kit included, that are “very on trend” for the holidays, Payne said.

“Another new artist, Mae Mendoza, just brought in these intricately beaded little trees,” she said. “Some of the trees incorporate semi-precious stones like quartz and amethyst.”

Many of the gifts at the Holiday Market are affordable and student artists earn 75% of each sale while staff, faculty and alumni artists, who can also sell their work in the store, earn the standard 50% consignment rate, Payne said.

The “Put a Bow On Your Season and Wrap Up Your Year” promotion gives shoppers free bows with their purchase, she added.

The Holiday Market is open Monday through Thursday and runs through Dec. 20 and will be open Friday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Regular ShopColumbia hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Robin Sluzas
Robin Sluzas, Former Senior Reporter
rsluzas@columbiachronicle.com   Robin Sluzas is a senior journalism major, primarily covering the School of Media Arts. She has also covered politics, and arts and culture stories. She worked for the Chronicle from August 2021 through December 2023.   Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
K’Von Jackson
K’Von Jackson, Former Senior Photojournalist
kjackson@columbiachronicle.com   K'Von Jackson is a senior photography major. Some of his work includes campus crime writing, social justice and changes within Columbia. He worked for the Chronicle from August 2020 through December 2023.   Hometown: Chicago, Ill.