Join Yapoma and LuLaRoe Deana Frank on Sunday, July 19th 3-5PM for food, booze, and our jewelry and clothing at the launch of our home boutique! I’ll have my handmade jewelry and accessories while Deana will be selling her colorful LuLaRoe clothing for women and girls.
A lot of people have beeing asking: exactly what is Yapoma? Yapoma is a new online handmade boutique in Baltimore city — soon to be a brick and mortar shop.
Back in 2010, fresh out of college, I worked at the Women’s Exchange of Baltimore: a consignment shop where everything sold is handmade by local, primarily female, artists and crafters to help supplement their income. It’s been around since the 1880s and was part of a movement sweeping across the country — women’s exchanges were (and still!) are everywhere! For each item sold, the artist made a cut so people were, quite literally, supporting local artists as well as buying local from a small business.
When I decided to start Yapoma, I began by selling many antique items that my father has collected over the years. He’s originally from Turkey, so the style of the art and handmade goods from that area are especially inspiring for us both. The name “yapoma” is the phonetic spelling of el yapımı, which is the Turkish word for handmade. My father used to bring home all sorts of souvenirs from Turkey and sold them himself at local fairs and festivals. I started selling them on etsy. Now I’ve begun purchasing small wholesale orders directly from artists and crafters to sell on Yapoma. This is the goal: to have a business where everything that I sell has been purchased directly from its maker – whoever and where ever they may be!
This not only creates a direct link between makers and their customers, it also allows creators to actually make a profit from what they do so that they can continue to do it! Crafters often must create large quantities of work and attend craft fairs where there is no guarantee that they will be able to make back their initial investment. It can become very costly for crafters attempting to start or sustain their business! It can be impossible for many creators to have enough to have and run their own shop — the appeal of being able to see and hold a handmade item before purchasing cannot be overstated.
Besides the awesomeness of selling all handmade goods, some of my ideas for the brick and mortar store include: having an on-site seamstress available to hem and alter clothes purchased, a traveling salesperson to show at fairs across the country (AND to find exciting new art to bring back to the store), special items which a percentage is donated to a great cause or artist’s project, original silkscreened/stamped giftwrapping, custom items created by staff members, and much much more!
The USA needs more businesses like this, and consumers are hungry for it. I cant tell you how many shoppers came into the Exchange when I worked there begging for anything “not made in China”. And instead of just going it alone, creators will have Yapoma: helping them run a sustainable business that will STAY in business!
A pinch in your pocket, a pinch in your shoe, something good will happen to you. That’s what is written on the pack of Fairy Dust I have. I keep my Fairy Dust in a little gold box. Every time I see it, I think of my favorite uncle: Uncle Bill.
Every year, in the spring, my sister, my mom, and I would visit my Uncle Bill. He lived in San Francisco. We usually met him in Washington DC. He would take us to the Science Center and we would spend the whole day with him. It was really fun. We would go to the Imax Theater, eat lunch, and walk around for the rest of the day taking pictures, going to museums, and going into stores and looking at stuff. He always greeted us with big hugs. He would have to bend down and pick me up to hug me since I was so small. He was a little taller than my sister, he was about 5’9″ or 5’10.” He had dark brown hair and eyes. He had a mustache resembling the color of his hair and eyes. He loved art and loved to paint. Some of his artwork was hanging up waiting to be sold in a resturant. He collected Fairy Dust, pink and white sparkling glitter that was supposed to give you good luck if you sprinkled it on yourself. He was always ready to have fun.
About 3 years ago, we went to visit him, in his San Francisco home, for the last time. We went to a store called “Off Your Dot,” (where he got the Fairy Dust) and we got him some Fairy Dust. I got a heart-shaped necklace that had Fairy Dust in it, and an extra packet, (for when it ran out). I still have them both today. He gave us one of his art projects, which was a huge night light. It was a rectangular, wooden box. It was about 2ft. tall. Inside, he had carved a person, and all around it were miniature Christmas lights that blinked when you turned it on. We still have it in our basement at home.
When we saw him in San Francisco that last visit, he had lost weight, and he didn’t look muscular anymore. His hair was falling out and some of the hair that was still there, was graying. It made me sad to think that after that last visit, we would never see him again. We would never meet him in Washington DC and spend time with him. I would never see my favorite uncle again.
On June 19, 1996, at the age of 35, my Uncle Bill died from AIDS. Before he was cremated, my aunt put some Fairy Dust in his pocket.
Brand new holiday ornaments are in the store today! These handmade origami ornaments are each made with colorful cardstock paper and have been glued to reinforce their shape. Created especially for Yapoma by Shalini Bhat of Paper Crafts.
You can buy each ornament individually or purchase 3 for a $6 discount! To apply this discount, add any three ornaments to your cart (you may also mix and match different styles) then apply this coupon code: ORIGAMI3.
Check them out by clicking here.
Free shipping on all orders over $50! Deduction automatically taken at checkout when subtotal in cart reaches $50!
If you are purchasing through etsy, this deduction is automatic on all individual items that are $50 or more. When combining items, simply use coupon code ‘FREESHIPPING’ at checkout to activate.
Happy Shopping :)