Norwalk teen organizes Mini Makers Market
Updated 2:11 pm, Wednesday, December 6, 2017
NORWALK — Demetri Dassouras may still be a month shy of 16 years old, but he’s already looking for ways to leave a legacy at the Westport Public Library.
For the second year in a row, the Norwalk High School sophomore has organized the Mini Makers Market, a holiday shopping extravaganza for those looking for the perfect locally crafted handmade gift.
“At first I was a volunteer at the Westport Library and they recently hired me and I wanted to make sure my name was left behind and I thought the way to do that was to help other people get their name out there,” Dassouras said.
The market, which has doubled in size since last year, will include 52 local vendors all selling handmade wares. It is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Westport Public Library.
Alex Giannini, manager of experiential learning at the library, said they event grew so much this year, some vendors had to be turned away. The event is a spinoff from the library’s MakerSpace as well as the Westport Maker Faire, which takes place in April and draws as many as 11,000 people to the library.
“We have a really robust community of makers that uses the library and gives a lot back to the library so we feel it’s kind of our duty to give something back to them,” Giannini said. “So we’re offering up a fairly large scale market during a busy time for them. Maker spaces are built on community so these kinds of events are right in our wheelhouse.”
Giannini said Dassouras came to him with the idea for the market last year. He told Dassouras it was a great idea, but that he’d have to take on the project on his own as everyone else at the library was already stretched thin.
“He got it off the ground, figured it out and it was a really successful event,” Giannini said. “There were 20 vendors and more than 600 people attended, so we said let’s go bigger this time.”
Dassouras was ready to take on the extra work, and said he took lessons from last year’s event into the planning process this year.
“From last year, I learned the business management aspect of it and how to coordinate with the vendors and keep in touch and make sure everything flows smoothly and how to make sure I coordinate everything with my colleagues from work,” Dassouras said.
Dassouras has volunteered at the library since he was 8 years old, and has spent the past two years employed by the library in the Makers Space, helping teach library patrons how to use the 3D printers and robotics equipment.