Business & Real Estate

Holiday pop-up market launches this week in Mountain View

Above and Below left Photos by Kathy Bonte, Below right photo by Caitlin Schaller/Special to the Town Crier
Artisan gifts available at the holiday pop-up market include wallets, above, jewelry and baby clothes.

While holiday shopping can be stressful, the season also can be hard on vendors who set up shop at festival after festival each weekend. That’s what led local business owner Kathy Bonte to organize a holiday pop-up market that’s scheduled to open Friday in Mountain View.

Bonte’s goal is to provide an affordable platform for smaller businesses to sell their handmade goods, as table fees at festivals can be costly.

“It’s tough as a local business and as a small-scale entrepreneur, especially in an artisan business,” the Mountain View resident said. “The table fees can be high at some of these events, and there’s a lot of running around. I thought it would be nice if we could all stay at one place and support each other and meet each other.”

Bonte found a location for her pop-up while driving along El Camino Real between Clark and El Monte Avenues, where she spotted a space for lease earlier this fall. She said her aim is to bring together an array of vendors to sell their products for the holiday season, including children’s books, terrariums and silk baby slings. Bonte has recruited 26 vendors, ranging from those selling pet accessories to watercolor paintings.

“We have a real range of vendors,” she said. “One girl is a college student. We have some millennials, we have some empty nesters like myself, we have seniors and people from Los Altos and people from Mountain View.”

Although gift giving in Silicon Valley often involves technology, Bonte wanted to focus on selling handmade goods to encourage customers to consider artisan gifts for the holidays.

“We live in Silicon Valley, and it’s the capital of everything that is high-tech, digital, virtual and automated, and I think that there is a real need to reconnect with small-batch, handmade, artisan (and) local (goods),” she said.

Los Altos resident Caitlin Schaller plans to sell hand-dyed baby and toddler clothes inspired by shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique. Schaller decided to participate in the market because of her interest in pop-up shops.

“Utilizing a space so efficiently is not only smart, but it helps keep the community vibrant and keeps people supporting local businesses,” Schaller said in an email. “The movement to support small businesses and artisans is important, and a healthy arts culture is part of a forward-thinking community.”

The market also will support the community; Bonte said vendors will donate 15 percent of their proceeds to local school district foundations Saturday and to victims of the Northern California wildfires Dec. 16.

“It’s a way to bring a lot of different groups together and do some good for the community with donations,” she added.

The pop-up market is scheduled 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17 at 1939 W. El Camino Real, in the Clarkwood Center.

For more information, call Bonte at 346-5896 or email organizer-kathy@

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