The Harvard Ed Portal’s fifth annual Allston-Brighton Winter Market is back as a virtual market again this year. Shoppers can browse the online shops of 41 local artisans who offer unique products ranging from artisanal candies and sweets to fine art to handmade dolls and toys. Each vendor is featured on the Ed Portal’s website with links to their online store, and 100 percent of the sales go directly to the artists. The site also has a music playlist curated by Allston Pudding so shoppers can enjoy local musicians while they virtually browse.
The variety of products and the diversity of the artisans creating them means that shoppers will find a gift option for nearly every hard-to-buy-for friend or relative on their list. That was very intentional, said Eve Alpern, assistant director of arts programming at the Ed Portal. “We wanted to make sure that the Winter Market created opportunities for a wide array of local artists and craftspeople to showcase their work,” she said. Alpern and her staff drew on relationships with many trade organizations and working groups throughout the Boston area to achieve this variety in their vendor applicant pool.
The market’s virtual format means that an even greater number of artists can participate, as well. One of them is Oyinda Oyelaran. Oyelaran, who is a chemistry professor at Northeastern University, makes home goods and accessories from traditional Nigerian Ankara fabrics. She started her side business, Lara Threads, exclusively online in 2020. “I think an online shop gives me the most flexibility and most reach,” she said.
Speak Our Peace
Peaceful Protest Artists
The market is open now and runs through Jan. 15, 2022. Shoppers who purchase goods from select vendors by today have the option of picking up their gifts in-person outside at the Harvard Ed Portal at two later dates in December (Thursday and Dec. 11) while enjoying coffee, doughnuts, and a free gift.