Around Town: Pop-up market has ocean views

Hayley Sirimalalak had it made in the shade at Ogden Point last Thursday — a stroke of luck considering it was the hottest day of the summer.

“My truck is too big to fit onto the [Breakwater] Barge, so I’m at the entrance, where it all starts,” said the owner of Glam Junkie as she cooled off in the shadow of her funky mobile women’s wear shop.

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To fashion what food trucks are to grub, her purple boutique-on-wheels, complete with a changing room, was chock-full of trendy, casual clothing imported from Los Angeles.

“It’s something different that you normally wouldn’t find in Victoria,” Sirimalalak said as a shopper admired a white, gemstone-studded T-shirt declaring: “I eat glitter for breakfast.”

She was one of 15 vendors participating in this summer’s second Pop-Up Shop event on the barge to augment Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s Bites, Brews and Bands events held there each Friday.

Deanna Young, who organizes both events, said the Pop-Up Shop addition was introduced as an experiment to showcase the wares of local vendors and increase awareness of the unique oceanfront venue. “I wanted to have stuff you wouldn’t find anywhere else but here,” Young said. “I wanted to showcase moms who are trying to be entrepreneurs, that kind of thing.”

She was referring to Sarah MacNeill, a graphic designer and pregnant mother-of-two who runs and was selling her stylish, handmade, plush animals.

“I was looking for a way to make stuffies in a way that wasn’t so labour-intensive,” said the busy mom, who was accompanied by daughters Sadie, seven, and Amelia, five.

MacNeill’s kooky characters, made from re-purposed materials, include whimsical pigs, penguins and bunnies that inspired her iOS app Poppets.

The event — which also featured the Wandering Mollusk oyster bar, a cocktail bar and munchies from The Kraken food truck — was the first since the attraction made its debut on June 30.

The July 21 edition was cancelled when some vendors had to pull out, said Young: “There was a kiln blow-up, a broken leg, a broken hand and these guys [Wandering Mollusk] were at Rock the Shores.”

You didn’t have to stroll far into the white tent, just steps from where the cruise ships Explorer of the Sea and Celebrity Solstice were docked, before noticing the plethora of fragrances and visual delights.

“This is such a beautiful location. You really can’t beat being out here today,” said Trina Koscielnuk, displaying skin lotions, lipbalms, room sprays and other natural body and skincare products at her Whiffcraft Naturals kiosk.

Passersby could sample Study Buddy tea and learn about hangover tea, organic mists, massage oils and other organic products made locally at herbalist Lily Fawn’s Victoria-based Earth’s Herbal booth.

At the Beautycounter station, lifestyle blogger Jody Hollis shared health, fitness and beauty tips and samples of Greens 7.2, an organic, sugar-free detoxifying supplement.

She also handed out copies of the Never List -- a comprehensive list of ingredients such as fragrance additive Butoxyethanol, oxybenzone and animal fats, oils and musks that are never used in their products.

“It’s organic, so you probably could eat this,” her friend Lisa Sinclair said with a laugh when someone noticed a bar of Citrus Mimosa soap displayed on a wooden cutting board with a cheese knife.

Cedra Smith attracted attention with her colourful handmade magnets upcycled from items such as old dominoes, rummy pieces and tiny wood boxes, and painted tiles from Habitat for Humanity. “I have a lot of fun making these,” said the tattooed, vintage-loving visualist whose magnets reference movies such as Pulp Fiction and vintage magazine covers.

“I’ve never done a market on the water before,” she said. “This is definitely a unique venue and I have a great view to boot.”

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