The ‘cute culture’ aesthetic will be on full display on Saturday, Mar. 11 with the sixth edition of the Cuties Market. 

Tricia Nguyen, founder of the Cuties Club, wanted collaboration to be the center of the market. There will be more than 40 vendors in attendance selling products like jewelry, tote bags and home accessories.

“It started out as just a theme for a collaborative market, but it become it own thing,” Nguyen said.

Starting small to going global

One of those vendors is Mao Projects, a Calgary-based ceramics business that are sculptural and functional with a kawaii, or cute, aesthetic. 

@maoprojects is a Calgary-based business with over 115,000 followers on Instagram and growing with worldwide customers.

Mao Kun Chen and her partner Chris Savage started the company as a side business during the pandemic, but their business quickly took off through social media marketing. 

Kun Chen moved to Canada in her early 20s and found that the western market lacked the cute culture she grew up knowing in China and wanted to change it.

“It is a way to represent more people who are impacted by this culture and feel free to express themselves by using non-traditional aesthetics,” said Kun Chen.

Chris Savage (left) and Mao Kun Chen (right) in their home studio where ceramic products are made. PHOTO: CHEVINE HOLLOWAY

The last Cuties market was held in mid February for Valentine’s Day. This week’s event will be held on the second floor of the Good Thrift store located downtown at 149 5th Ave SE.

Report an Error or Typo