A Look Inside The Central Coast’s Homegrown Makeshift Market

Despite a growing population and an ever-expanding commercial district, somehow, San Luis Obispo still maintains its “small town” feel. Every so often, grassroots businesses and events pop up and become unexpected successes. From Jamba Juice to Shabang, SLO has proven its ability to propel do-it-yourself (DIY) businesses to greatness. Up next is the Makeshift Maker’s Market, which is already making its way across the Central Coast.

This is one of those stories that Professor Howe would describe as one that “makes its own sauce.” All of the sources that we needed were all relatively easy to locate, and we began by hunting down their social media pages. Getting in contact with Madison Hill from the market was our first step, and she referred us to the vendors that we would be able to contact.

“This was a fun event and topic to cover since all of the vendors of the market were very willing to talk,” said Brooke Cashin, who was in charge of the written aspect of this story.

The members of our team set up on Cal Poly’s campus to talk with Hill, Events & Outreach for the Makeshift Maker’s Market.

The most exciting part about this story was the personal stories of each of the vendors for Cashin; but, for the rest of our group, the best part was the opportunity to travel across the central coast in the name of journalism, just like the Makeshift Maker’s Market itself had done. In fact, this became the angle for the interactive aspect of the story, which was handled by Nathan Bryant.

“An infographic wasn’t the medium to use for this story, which is about makeshift goods sold at a traveling market,” Bryant said. “I decided to go with an interactive map that displays the locations of each market and the date the market takes place. I felt this medium was a better fit in enhancing the story.”

Our group headed out to Los Alamos to attend the Sunday market. Led by Hill, we were able to get a full tour of the grounds.

The story did not all fall into place naturally, however. Monique Ejenuko, who was in charge of video for this story, described her own challenge to convey the information of the market effectively through video.

“Video is pretty tough,” Ejenuko said. “I came into the role knowing that it would be a challenge, since I’m very shaky on my video skills.”

But, with perseverance and guidance from both her peers and our advisors, Ejenuko had no problem coming up with a solid project. Overall, she found that she was satisfied with the end result.

“Luckily, Thomas, my teammates, and Brady were able to get me on the right track. It’s super rewarding to watch back on the video and see what I created despite my lack of skill.”

Wrapping up our project, our whole team was able to gather an impressive story that not only highlights the abilities of the makers, but of San Luis Obispo’s support for local business. This is one of those stories that adds to the allure of the central coast — a camaraderie that is not found in many other places.

“Talking with the creators of all of these markets, I got to know the personality behind the brand and it sparked a great story,” Cashin said.