Amid the rows of stores inside the Westfield Valencia Town Center is one where shoppers will find a variety of products that share one label in common: handmade.
TyCam Marketplace, located on the second floor of the mall, is an upscale, permanent venue for local vendors to sell and promote their handmade work.
The store held a soft opening Friday and featured 11 artisans’ products that range from greeting cards to wood crafts. The grand opening is slated for Feb. 22.
Owner Felicia Smith said the idea came from a feeling she could relate to other vendors as a maker herself.
“There are a lot of challenges for not having a storefront for crafters,” she said. “We have to wait maybe twice a year for a festival to come around. There are large rent fees to be able to put your product in a venue, and a lot of stores do not have opportunities for crafters and artisans to feature their products.”
Simply put, TyCam Marketplace is that permanent home “because we deserve it as crafters,” said Smith.
The owner, who said the name of the business was inspired by her two daughters Tyler and Cameron, is also a maker herself. The early days of TyCam Marketplace trace back 18 years ago as an online boutique, selling handmade accessories such as scarves, hair ties and gemstone bracelets.
Late last year, she decided to take it to the next level by renting a kiosk at the mall and four months later she landed the storefront, a move she said was possible thanks to the “Westfield Valencia Town Center team for believing in the idea and supporting the idea.”
Artist Bonny Butler, who is selling mixed-media art collections at TyCam Marketplace, said, “This is about giving local artisans an opportunity to have another venue for us to display our work because it’s so limited in town.”
Customers can find products, mainly from Santa Clarita Valley residents, including from Valencia High School students, who sell hand-painted greeting cards and natural, gluten-free soaps.
Besides offering local makers a place to sell and promote their work, TyCam Marketplace will soon offer a variety of workshops including in knitting, crocheting, painting and mixed-media work to “give an opportunity for the crafters to teach and so that the community can learn.”
To learn more about TyCam Marketplace, visit tycammarketplace.com.