Trendy vendors give market artistic flair

The Halifax Seaport Market is known for its local meat and produce, but it’s unique artisans make the shopping experience special.

By Erin Way

The Halifax Seaport Market is known for its local meat and produce. The market also hosts many local creative businesses selling their handiworks. Profiled here are four style vendors that are found at the market most Saturdays.

Jewelry Gillian Hannah Berry Designs

Gillian Berry’s table at the market is packed with more than a hundred of her own jewelry designs. Berry is different from the run of the mill jewelry stand because each of her designs is made from repurposed material.  There’s a section of leaf inspired earrings, watch face bracelets and necklaces made of Scrabble game tiles.

Gillian Berry constructed this necklace out of a fake floral bouquet that her mom had. (Erin Way photo)

“I’ll recycle and reuse and also I’ll go to antique stores and flea markets and estate sales and find old pieces that I can turn into jewelry,” Berry says.

Although the materials she uses for each mini collection vary, her whole line maintains a vintage yet modern feel.

“I like to use birch bark, leather, antique clock faces deconstructed from old watches,” Berry says. “Really anything and everything.”

T-shirts etc.The Quarrelsome Yeti

Geordan Moore’s booth stands out at the Halifax Seaport Market because he’s one of the few clothing vendors, and because of the subject matter and intricate details in his artwork.

Moore draws all of the content that is silk-screened onto his products. He started printing t-shirts and posters then branched into postcards and market bags.

Moore is constantly coming up with more unusual content. He can often be seen drawing up new designs at his booth. (Erin Way photo)

“The style that I use right now is based on the relief print making process, like woodcut print making,” Moore says. “I am really interested in Japanese wood cuts and that reductive style of drawing and they’re kind of silly, usually.”

One of Moore’s more popular designs features a rabid looking beaver with brains leaking out of its orifices and gnawing on a log. Around the drawing is written “Welcome to Canada”.

“When I started the business… I told myself if I ever had an idea that I thought was too stupid, then I should do that.”

The Quarrelsome Yeti has found its niche at the market catering to those with a distinctive taste in fashion.

BagsThe Wind Bag Company

The Wind Bag Company is out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and sells in stores in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Every Saturday you can find owner Pauline Dickison in the upper level of the Halifax Seaport Market singing praises of her products.

Primarily, the company sells various types and sizes of bags made from worn-out ship sails. Part of a Wind Bag’s appeal is that each one is unique.

“We use other materials to trim and line the bags,” Dickison says. “We’re all about giving these tough materials another life.”

A selection of bags made from old sails by the Wind Bag Company. (Erin Way Photo)

The company reclaims other materials such as seatbelts, leather, event banners and even the curtains from White Point Beach Resort, which burned down in 2011. For the past few years, NSCAD has been donating discarded painted canvases, which Dickison accepted gratefully and turned into bags.

“We do a little harvesting at the local junk yard,” Dickison says. “It’s all about giving this tough stuff another life and otherwise they end up in the landfill.”

Pauline Dickison, owner of the Wind Bag company


Link text
Pauline Dickison talks about what makes each Wind Bag special.

“Every bag has a tag that tells you the story of the boat from which the sails came,” Dickison says.

From messenger bags to duffel bags, to pencil cases and wallets, there is a Wind Bag for every occasion.

Socks, Mittens and other wool products- Lismore Sheep Farm Wool Shop

On the North Shore of Nova Scotia near the River John area, 150 sheep are working hard to produce wool for the Lismore Sheep Farm. The farm is owned and operated by Gillian Crawford and her husband, and they use all the resources the sheep have to offer.

Some of the vividly coloured knitted mittens from The Lismore Sheep Farm. (Erin Way Photo)


“We raise our own sheep and then from the sheep we get lambs, which we sell for meat,” Crawford says. “Here at the market we sell all of the wool products: so the yarn, woven blankets and sheepskin blankets, are all woven from our sheep wool.”

Crawford works with River John locals to knit some of their products.  Their shop offers sheepskin shoe liners, blankets and wool dryer balls alongside brightly coloured knitted socks and mittens, all of them with felted wool inside to make their products warmer and cozier.