An annual fall tradition has returned to Manotick Station with a new name, a new generation in charge and a shift to include online shopping.
Known for the past 17 years as the Third World Bazaar, the pop-up shop of global artisan wares is now the One World Bazaar. Changing the name was a long time coming and made sense as owners Peggy and Dick Bakker transitioned the running of the business to their daughter, Anneka.
“When my uncle named the business 39 years ago, Third World was the term of the time,” Anneka says. However, as times (and politically correct terms) have changed, “we didn’t want our name to be an obstacle for new people who’ve never experienced us to get on board.
“Anyone who comes here understands that we’re all about celebrating the craft of artisans we find across the world and Third World Bazaar became a bit of an obstacle to that. And so we felt One World Bazaar spoke much more to our mission and values of having a holistic, celebratory approach to all the great things we see.”
The bazaar brings thousands of hand-crafted items, many of them one of a kind, to the Bakkers’ large barn on Mitch Owens Drive for seven weekends until Nov. 8. Every year, the Bakkers spend months travelling and shopping throughout Asia and elsewhere sourcing furniture, home decor, clothing, jewelry, Christmas decorations, kitchenware and artwork directly from local artisans.
Although items are not certified fair trade — too much red tape, Peggy Bakker has said in the past — the Bakkers are as sure as they can be that the people they’re buying from actually made the products.
This year, Peggy, Dick and now Anneka were just finishing their Asian trip when COVID struck. A planned stop in Morocco and Egypt over Easter had to be cancelled, “but all said and done we were able to be in Asia and do our buying,” Anneka says.
Despite the truncated buying trip, she says they have more product than usual, thanks to her being a third buyer on the trip.
“Inventory-wise we’re in really great shape.”
In all, products this year are sourced from Mexico, Thailand, Bali, Java, Nepal, Peru, Ecuador, and Turkey, with some being purchased online.
New this year are unique teak pieces from Java, including the work of one artist who turns reclaimed teak into life-sized horses, deer, horse heads and more, taking inspiration from the jungle he backs onto.
“We’re very excited about those,” Anneka says. “It’s incredible watching him work. At only five-foot-zero, you can usually find him on a step stool matching reclaimed teak pieces to their jigsaw puzzle with a cigarette in hand.”
The family also went heavy on furniture this year, she says. “The amount of incredible one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture is really cool this year and really great price points, too.”
A wedding tent added to the back of the barn offers more breathing room for shoppers as well as much-needed space to display the furniture.
And Anneka says there are new jewelry suppliers, smaller, daintier furniture pieces, and a few great new clothing lines found in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.
The transition to Anneka taking over from her parents, who are looking towards retirement, was also a natural time to incorporate online shopping to the business. More than 300 items can be found on the One World Bazaar website and will be available at least until Christmas, Anneka says.
“We kind of look at it as a complementary business angle, as well as definitely (for) that percentage of people who choose not to physically attend due to COVID… We have everything from small little things at $9.95 through to teak one-of-a-kind furniture.”
The bazaar will be open Friday through Sunday at various times (check the website). It’s also open for a few Thursdays and there are morning hours set aside for vulnerable populations. Other safety precautions are also in place.
And note that the barn is not heated so dress for the weather.
Find out more at oneworldbazaar.ca.