Eau Claire Maker’s Market highlights local creators

UWEC students and alumni held their fourth Maker’s Market in downtown Eau Claire

Lisa Snyder

More stories from Lisa Snyder

Bark Break 2022
May 10, 2022


Local makers came together at Forage in Eau Claire.

Local makers gathered in downtown Eau Claire last weekend to sell their jewelry, paintings and other handmade creations. Started by Kala Rehberger and Lexi Kane, the Eau Claire Maker’s Market was held Friday and Saturday at Forage

Rehberger, a fourth-year ceramics and psychology student, said the idea started after her and Kane sold their jewelry in Kane’s backyard last summer. After a successful turnout, the two decided they wanted to provide an opportunity for other creators to share their work. 

“It is a good way to get the community involved and feature beginner artists,” Rehberger said. “A lot of the artists haven’t been to a market so we want to allow new artists to get their name out there and show them that their art can be sold for profit.” 

Rehberger said their first market last fall had 12 artists who were mainly personal friends. However, now the market has grown to include 28 different creators from extended areas such as River Falls and Menomonie. 

Vendors varied from jewelry makers such as Madison Dier, to woodwork created by Blake Olson. 

Last weekend Dier, a third-year social work student, attended her second Eau Claire Maker’s Market once again to sell her jewelry. Dier said she has been creating jewelry for four years starting with stamping rings, and has recently gotten into complex wire wrapping. 

“I like how the market is run by fellow Eau Claire students,” Dier said. “Compared to farmer’s markets, it feels like a smaller community that gives newer creators more of an opportunity.”

Dier also has her work featured in Tangled up in Hue, Trucker’s Union and The Local Store. Her business is known as Madcraftin and she can be reached via her website or on her instagram page. 

Woodworking specialist, Blake Olson, also had the opportunity to share his original creations at the market last weekend. Featuring things such as cutting boards and cribbage boards, Olson said the weekend was very successful for his small business as a first time attendee. 

Olson began creating cutting boards after learning how to build houses from his dad. Learning how to use power tools and having them conveniently at home allowed him to try his hand in the craft. After people offered to buy some of his first boards, his small business sprouted. 

The Eau Claire Maker’s Market now features six hosts. In addition to Rehberger and Kane, local artists Sarah Ryan, Kate Newtel, Brinna Schaller and Daniel Reich help to host the market. 

Kane, who graduated last spring with a degree in graphic design and Spanish, said they hope to incorporate more live entertainment in their future markets.

Kane said they also would like to see more types of creative work incorporated with artists of many varieties and to find an event space large enough to host different events. 

The next market will tentatively be held in June and at an outdoor venue if possible, Newtel said. Newtel said the hosts are hoping to have an outdoor market once a month during the summer season. 

Local artists are encouraged to apply on the Eau Claire Maker’s Market Instagram @ecmakersmarket, or on their website. More information and upcoming market news can be found on their Instagram as well. 

Snyder can be reached at [email protected]